UK official: Radical Islam drives London attack

LONDON — Two U.K. government officials say a brutal attack that left one man dead near a London military barracks appears to have been motivated by radical Islam.

Two men apparently attacked another man near a London barracks Wednesday. Police said he died and the other two were shot by police and taken to separate hospitals.

Two U.K. government officials who had been briefed said the attack seemed to have been ideologically motivated by radical Islam. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation.

They said their categorization was not based solely on video footage of what appeared to be one attacker criticizing the British government.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said there are "strong indications" that the attack is related to terror.

Cameron called the killing "truly shocking" and said he had asked Home Secretary Theresa May to call an urgent meeting of the government's emergency committee.

May said she had been briefed by Britain's domestic security service, MI5, and by police on what she called a "sickening and barbaric" attack.

Police said armed officers responded to reports of the assault Wednesday afternoon just a few blocks from the Royal Artillery Barracks in southeast London.

Commander Simon Letchford said reports indicated that one man was being assaulted by two other men, and that a number of weapons — including possibly a firearm — were used in the attack.

He confirmed that one man was found dead at the scene and that two men were shot by police and taken to separate London hospitals. One of them is in serious condition, according to London Ambulance Service.

Live television images of the scene showed a trail of blood staining a pavement, cordoned off streets and crime scene investigators marking the scene.

David Dixon, head teacher of a nearby primary school, said police told him there was a serious incident. He said he saw a body lying in the road outside.

He told the BBC that he then made sure the schoolchildren were inside and put the school into lockdown mode. He said he then heard shots fired.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is called in when officers are involved in shootings, confirmed that it is investigating the incident.

The barracks — which house a number of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards — were the site of shooting events during the 2012 London Olympics.

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