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London Bridge: Two stabbing attack victims have died, police say

Police say suspect killed was thought to be wearing explosive vest, later found to be fake, and are treating incident as 'terror-related'
Armed police officers are seen on street near London Bridge after incident on Friday (Reuters)

Two members of the public have died hours after a stabbing attack in central London on Friday, police confirmed.

Three other people were injured in the attack, the London police said.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to inform you that as well as the suspect, who was shot dead by police, two of those injured in this attack ... have tragically lost their lives," London police chief Cressida Dick told reporters, Reuters reported.

Earlier in the day, the male suspect was fatally shot by armed police after the stabbing.

The suspect was wearing a suspected explosive vest, which was later found to be fake, Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu told reporters following the incident on London Bridge. 

"A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from the City of London police, and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene," said Basu. 

"I can confirm at this time, we believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device. Officers continue to carry out meticulous searches in the area to ensure there is no outstanding threat to the public."

Video and images posted online showed several members of the public holding down an individual on the ground before police shot the man. 

A 14-second video clip on Twitter filmed from the opposite side of the street showed three police officers backing away from a man lying on the pavement.

Two of the officers are pointing rifles at the man, who can be seen moving slightly. Middle East Eye could not independently verify the footage.

The ambulance service declared what it called a "major incident" in the area.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also confirmed that people had been injured in the attack and said police were treating the incident as "terrorism-related".

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both thanked the emergency services for their response to the incident and shared sympathies with the families impacted by the events. 

London Bridge was the scene of an attack in June 2017, when three men drove a van into pedestrians and then attacked people in the surrounding area, killing eight.

Earlier this month, the UK lowered its national terrorism threat level to "substantial" from "severe", its lowest level since 2014.