1 dead in ‘terror’ knife attack in London’s Russell Square

A man armed with a knife has attacked people on Russell Square in London, killing a woman and injuring five others before being taken into custody, police say. Possible links to terrorism are being investigated.

The incident happened at around 10:33 p.m. local time on Wednesday when officers were called to reports of a man who was attacking people with a knife at Russell Square, which is close to the Russell Square Tube Station as well as the University of London.

Police arrived at the scene and located the suspect almost immediately, after which one of the officers deployed his taser. The suspect was taken into custody and taken to an area hospital, where he remained on early Thursday.

"Officers attended the scene along with the London Ambulance Service. Up to six people were found injured at the location," Scotland Yard said in a statement. "A female was treated at the scene but was pronounced dead a short time later."

Mark Rowley, the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations at the Metropolitan Police Service, said the victim who had died was a woman in her 60s. The other victims - four men and one woman - suffered various injuries, he said. There was no word on their conditions.

"Early indications suggest that mental health is a significant factor in this case and that is one major line of inquiry," Rowley said. "But of course at this stage we should keep an open mind regarding motive and, consequently, terrorism as a motivation remains but one line of inquiry for us to explore."

Scotland Yard's Homicide Command is investigating the incident and is being supported by the department's counter-terrorism unit.

"As a precautionary measure (on Thursday), Londoners will wake up and in the morning will notice an increased police presence on the streets, including armed officers. This is there to provide reassurance and safety. We ask the public to remain calm and vigilant and alert," Rowley added.

Police did not say why terrorism was being investigated as a possible motivation for the attack, which came just days after London's police chief warned that a terror attack on Britain was considered to be inevitable, saying it's a question of "when not if".

There were no immediate claims of responsibility from groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS).

Russell Square is close to the site of one of the 2005 London bombings that left 52 dead and more than 700 others injured. One of the bombs exploded on a subway train as it approached Russell Square Tube Station, killing 26 people and making it the day's deadliest attack.

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