A British soldier was reportedly murdered near an Army barracks by two men who beheaded him while shouting “Allahu Akbar!”
Eyewitnesses told reporters they saw the victim — believed to be a soldier stationed at the Royal Artillery Barracks — being “hacked to bits” Wednesday on a street in the South London area of Woolwich by two men with large knives variously described as “meat cleavers” or “machetes.” One witness said the two attackers appeared to be attempting to record video of their butchery of the victim.
UPDATE: The London Telegraph interviewed a witness who described the attack:
“It was pretty gruesome, it was surreal, it was like something from a film, people were just shocked, absolutely shocked.”
The BBC confirms the British government is treating the incident as terrorism:
Home Secretary Theresa May has summoned a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee Cobra to assess the incident.
Mrs May said she had been briefed by the director general of Security Service MI5, Andrew Parker, and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe on the “sickening and barbaric” attack.
“It has been confirmed to me that a man has been brutally murdered,” she said. “Two other men were shot by armed police and they are currently receiving treatment for their injuries.”
One witness, identified only as James, said two men had attacked another man, aged about 20, who was wearing a T-shirt of military charity Help for Heroes.
“These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there,” he told LBC radio.
He said after the “horrendous” attack, the two men, who were also in their 20s, stood around, waving knives and a gun, and asked people to take pictures of them “as if they wanted to be on TV or something”.
“They were oblivious to anything, they were more worried about having their photo taken, running up and down the road,” he said.
- The Commentator: Major incident in South London with reports of shootings and a beheading
- London Daily Telegraph: ‘Soldier beheaded’ in ‘Islamist terror attack’ oustide barracks in Woolwich
- BBC: Man dead in suspected Woolwich terror attack
- London Daily Telegraph: Woolwich ‘machete attack’ like ‘something out of a film,’ says eyewitness