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Russell Square stabbings: What we know so far

Following the stabbing at Russell Square in London, this is what we know about the attack, the assailant, the victims and the police.

The attack

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police investigators at the scene in Russell Square, London
  • A fatal stabbing occurred in Russell Square, central London, at about 10.30pm on Wednesday
  • A woman was killed and five other people were injured
  • Police say armed officers arrived on the scene within six minutes of receiving 999 calls and chased the suspect
  • A Taser (electric stun gun) was discharged at the suspect, but no shots were fired
  • Police have arrested the suspect on suspicion of murder
  • Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police believed it was a spontaneous attack and that the victims were selected at random
  • Russell Square is in a popular tourist area with many hotels, close to the British Museum

The suspect

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Image caption Police are working to establish the attacker's motive
  • The suspect is a 19-year old male Norwegian national of Somali origin
  • Investigation so far does not suggest attacker's Somali background is relevant to his motivation, says Mr Rowley
  • Mr Rowley emphasis police have found no evidence of radicalisation that would suggested terrorism was motive
  • He says investigation "increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental health issues"
  • He is now in police custody at a south London police station, according to a police statement

The victims

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Image caption There are few details of the victims so far
  • A woman, believed to have been in her 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say she was an American national
  • Two women and three men suffered "various injuries" in the attack
  • Their nationalities are Australian, American, Israeli and British, according to police
  • Police says their injuries are not life-threatening
  • Two remain in hospital, the other three have been discharged, police said earlier

The police

Image copyright AP
Image caption Londoners will notice an increased presence on the streets of officers, says the Met
  • Police say were at the scene in large numbers within six minutes of receiving reports of the attack
  • One witness estimated there were about 70-80 police offers at the scene
  • The Met's homicide department is leading the investigation
  • Counter-terrorism officers have been supporting the investigation
  • Police have worked on five strands: interviewing the suspect, speaking with his family, witness accounts, address searches, and full intelligence review
  • Police have searched addresses in north London, will search another in south London, says Mark Rowley
  • The Met says extra police reinforcements, including armed officers, are patrolling the streets in London on Thursday
  • From Wednesday, numbers of patrolling officers had already been increased

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