London attack: Global media find Britain shaken by pre-election attacks

Newspaper front pages covering attacks in London
Image caption The attack made front-page news across the world

Global media have expressed shock at the terror attack at London Bridge and Borough Market on 3 June.

"Terror unexpectedly hit the heart of London, at the beginning of a cheerful Saturday night," Spain's daily ABC said.

A headline in Germany's Die Welt said terror had "undermined the self-confidence of Britons".

Iran's state radio told listeners that "fear has overtaken London" and Saudi funded Al-Arabiya TV said the assailants attacked "under the cover of darkness" prompting "pure fear".

Hashtag "London" has been trending on Russian Twitter since last night and the Arabic hashtags "London", "Britain" and "London Bridge" are among Twitter's top trending list in many Arab countries.

Elections

The media were quick to note that the attack came only days before the 8 June elections.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said: "It was a bad awakening for Britons shortly before the election... Prime Minister May reacted with a tough course and a note of self-criticism."

Al-Jazeera TV's correspondent said it was possible that further attacks could take place and "affect the voters' mood ahead of the general election".

Image caption Newspapers spoke of a night of fear in London after the terror attack

An article in The New York Times surmised that "as Britain prepares for national elections in less than a week, it must cope with more attacks in the most ordinary of places".

Russian state-owned Channel One discussed trends in attack tactics and said the scenario "resembled the recent attacks that happened in Britain's capital and other European cities".

On Israeli Army radio, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan drew parallels with attacks in Israel that have also involved "car-rammings and stabbings".

'Capital of horror'

Countries around the world have issued safety warnings to their nationals in London. Some have issued emergency numbers for people to call.

In reacting to the attack, some social media users feel the West is not tough enough on extremists.

"London has become the capital of horror, due to the multiplicity of acts of terrorism because of the stupidity of its authorities, which give shelter and support to the top theorists of terrorism in the world," Bin Khaled (@a_1k2), a Saudi, tweeted.

@Alfiadkins tweeted in Persian:" If Kabul, London, Paris and Baghdad were in China, Daesh [Islamic State] would have been eradicated long ago. The West copes with it but the East would have rooted it out."

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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