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London Russell Square knife attack suspect Norwegian national of Somali origin: Met police

Northern Ireland man stumbles across body at scene of attack which left one dead and five injured

Published 04/08/2016

Flowers are left near the scene of the knife attack in Russell Square, London. A woman died of her injuries. The suspect was arrested at the scene and is being held at a London Hospital. Police say mental health issues are a significant factor but aren't ruling out terrorism. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Flowers are left near the scene of the knife attack in Russell Square, London. A woman died of her injuries. The suspect was arrested at the scene and is being held at a London Hospital. Police say mental health issues are a significant factor but aren't ruling out terrorism. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Paul Ó Geibheannaigh. Pic BBC screengrab
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: A police officer guards the scene of a knife attack on August 4, 2016 in London, England. Six people were attacked by a 19 year old man with a knife at 10.30pm in Russell Square, London last night. A woman died of her injuries. The suspect was arrested at the scene and is being held at a London Hospital. Police say mental health issues are a significant factor but aren't ruling out terrorism. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
A private ambulance crew remove a body from Russell Square in London early on August 4, 2016, after a woman in her 60s was killed. The woman was killed and five people injured in a knife attack in central London late on August 3 which police said they are investigating for possible terrorist links. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A body is driven away in a private ambulance from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Police activity at the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a woman was killed and five people injured in a mass stabbing incident. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Police activity at the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a woman was killed and five people injured in a mass stabbing incident. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
A police forensic officer at the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
A body is driven away in a private ambulance from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
A body is removed from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Police forensic officers in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
A private ambulance crew remove a body from Russell Square in London early on August 4, 2016, after a woman in her 60s was killed. The woman was killed and five people injured in a knife attack in central London late on August 3 which police said they are investigating for possible terrorist links. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Police have said the suspect in the Russell Square knife attack in London, is a Norwegian national of Somalia origin and that "mental health issues" may have triggered the incident.

A woman was killed and five others injured in the attack in Russell Square in central London.

One man has been held on suspicion of murder.

Meanwhile, a Northern Ireland man has told of his shock after he came across one of the victims of the mass knife attack in London.

Pol Ó Geibheannaigh has lived in London for the past 12 years, he told the BBC of the moment he came across the victim.

He said: "I was out, just at the cinema when we stumbled across what was a heavy police presence in Russell Square - and then we saw the body lying on the Pavement.

"Which was quite disconcerting as it was not covered at the time.

"Then we went for a late night drink with a friend and everyone was in shock in the bar. Then the police came in and interviewed us and at that stage we didn't know there were others injured.

"At first we thought it was gang related.

"There was a massive police presence - I have not seen a police presence like it since 7/7. And that just brought those memories back.

Paul Ó Geibheannaigh. Pic BBC screengrab
Paul Ó Geibheannaigh. Pic BBC screengrab
A police forensics tent is placed at the scene of a knife attack on August 4, 2016 in London, England. Six people were attacked by a 19 year old man with a knife at 10.30pm in Russell Square, London. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: A police officer guards the scene of a knife attack on August 4, 2016 in London, England. Six people were attacked by a 19 year old man with a knife at 10.30pm in Russell Square, London last night. A woman died of her injuries. The suspect was arrested at the scene and is being held at a London Hospital. Police say mental health issues are a significant factor but aren't ruling out terrorism. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
A private ambulance crew remove a body from Russell Square in London early on August 4, 2016, after a woman in her 60s was killed. The woman was killed and five people injured in a knife attack in central London late on August 3 which police said they are investigating for possible terrorist links. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A body is driven away in a private ambulance from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Police activity at the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a woman was killed and five people injured in a mass stabbing incident. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Police activity at the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a woman was killed and five people injured in a mass stabbing incident. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
A police forensic officer at the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
A body is driven away in a private ambulance from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
A body is removed from the scene in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Police forensic officers in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed and five people were injured. A 19-year-old man has been arrested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2016. See PA story POLICE Attack. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
A private ambulance crew remove a body from Russell Square in London early on August 4, 2016, after a woman in her 60s was killed. The woman was killed and five people injured in a knife attack in central London late on August 3 which police said they are investigating for possible terrorist links. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

"You don't see that in central officers. There must have been 70 or 80 police officers all carrying sub machine guns."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the public to remain "calm and vigilant" as police investigate whether a knife attack that left one woman dead and five people injured was terror-related.

Mr Khan said his "heart goes out to the victims of the incident in Russell Square and their loved ones" after the death of the woman, who has not been identified but is believed to have been in her 60s.

Two women and three men suffered "various injuries" in the incident in central London and are receiving treatment in hospital.

Armed police are being deployed on the streets of London on Thursday to reassure the public who were recently warned that it was a case of "when, not if" a terrorist attack took place in Britain.

Mr Khan said police were doing an "incredibly difficult job" and the safety of Londoners was his "number one priority".

"I have spoken with the Commissioner, and the Assistant Commissioner, who have assured me that our police officers are working extremely hard to investigate exactly what has happened and to keep the rest of us safe.

"A man was arrested at the scene. Police have spoken to him and are seeking to establish the full facts including motives for this attack.

"I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant. Please report anything suspicious to the police. We all have a vital role to play as eyes and ears for our police and security services and in helping to ensure London is protected."

The attack took place metres away from a floral tribute to murdered MP Jo Cox, with a sign reading "Lest London forgets Jo Cox MP for Yorkshire", and sunflowers hanging from the metal fence around the square.

Tommaso Greco, 26, who works in Pret opposite the scene, said: "I am quite shocked because I used to come here every day at 5am and every day it is quiet. This morning I came, and no.

"I am a little bit worried, for sure. Because it could happen to anyone. They were just in the middle of the street. And here, generally, there are a lot of people. It is a tourist area."

He added that staff at the coffee shop had initially been told that it would not open today, but that the instructions later changed.

The attack took place metres away from a floral tribute to murdered MP Jo Cox, with a sign reading "Lest London forgets Jo Cox MP for Yorkshire", and sunflowers hanging from the metal fence around the square.

Tommaso Greco, 26, who works in Pret opposite the scene, said: "I am quite shocked because I used to come here every day at 5am and every day it is quiet. This morning I came, and no.

"I am a little bit worried, for sure. Because it could happen to anyone. They were just in the middle of the street. And here, generally, there are a lot of people. It is a tourist area."

He added that staff at the coffee shop had initially been told that it would not open today, but that the instructions later changed.

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