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London attack: Policeman's body armour failed to stop knife attack

By Dominic Harris

A police officer who was killed during the Westminster terror attack died after being stabbed in the chest, despite wearing body armour.

PC Keith Palmer (48), was fatally knifed by Muslim convert Khalid Masood while on duty in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster last Wednesday.

The father-of-two was wearing a stab vest, issued as routine to Metropolitan Police officers, but it was not enough to save him and he died at the scene.

Scotland Yard has confirmed he was wearing the armour when he was attacked.

PC Palmer will be laid to rest in a full police service funeral next month.

His funeral will be held at London's Southwark Cathedral on April 10, followed by a private cremation.

Full service funerals are normally only held when a police officer or member of staff dies while they are carrying out their duty, Scotland Yard said.

The details of PC Palmer's funeral are still being arranged by the Met, but similar services usually see the attendance of police from across the country.

Politicians and senior officers are likely to attend, while a police choir and a bearer party for any coffin - which would be draped with the police service flag - are expected to be involved.

Masood (52), from Birmingham, was shot dead by armed police. An inquest into his victims' deaths was opened by senior coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox at Westminster Coroner's Court.

Family members of those killed listened as Detective Superintendent John Crossley told the court a "wide-ranging inquiry" into the incident was being led by the counter-terrorism command.

Officers are examining a "large amount" of CCTV and footage taken by bystanders, which gives a "clear visual chronology" of how the 82-second incident unfolded.

Adjourning the inquest for police to carry out their investigations, Dr Wilcox told the family members in the court: "I wish you all well. This is very much a first step in this inquiry, in what will be a long, difficult and complex process."

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