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Islamic State says London Bridge attack carried out by one of its fighters

Metropolitan police say five people were stabbed in total inside Fishmonger's Hall before members of public pursued attacker onto London Bridge
Policeman walks past forensic tents outside home in Stafford being searched on Saturday in connection with stabbings in London (Reuters)

The Islamic State (IS) group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack in central London the previous day that killed two people. The group did not provide any evidence.

The group's Amaq news agency said the attack by one of its fighters came in response to IS calls to target countries that have been part of a coalition fighting them in Syria and Iraq, Reuters reported.

British police on Friday fatally shot a man wearing a fake suicide vest who fatally stabbed two people and wounded three more before being wrestled to the ground by bystanders on London Bridge.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed on Saturday to review Britain's sentencing system after a “convicted terrorist” released early from prison carried out the attack, AFP reported.

London Bridge: Two stabbing attack victims have died, police say
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Bystanders - one armed with a narwhal tusk and another with a fire extinguisher - have been hailed as heroes for preventing even greater loss of life by tackling Usman Khan before police shot the attacker.

Video footage of the confrontation showed Khan, 28, being challenged by a man wielding the tusk, believed to have been grabbed from a historic hall where the stabbings began, as another person sprayed him with the extinguisher.

He had been conditionally released from jail last December after serving less than half of a 16-year prison sentence.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a briefing on Saturday that five people were stabbed in total inside Fishmonger's Hall before members of the public pursued the attacker onto London Bridge. The three survivors remain in hospital.

Basu added that Khan had been released under "an extensive list of licence conditions" with which he had previously been complying.

Police on Saturday searched two properties in Stoke-on-Trent, Khan's home city, and Stafford in central England.

Investigators have said they are not actively seeking anyone else in connection with the stabbings.

The incident comes two years after three attackers in a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people at random in nearby Borough Market.

On that occasion, eight people were killed and 48 wounded before the three, who were wearing fake suicide devices, were shot dead by police.