UPDATED: Terrorist attack in Reading kills three, wounds three more.

Update 2.30pm, 21 June 2020

Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) were informed of the incident overnight and have been working closely with Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Department.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Senior National Coordinator for the Counter Terrorism Policing network, has now declared the incident a terrorist incident, and CTPSE will be taking over the investigation and making a further statement about the incident later today.

The 25 year old suspect has been named as a Libyan national called Khairi Saadallah, and Police are understood to be investigating mental health issues in connection with the attack.

Chief Constable John Campbell of Thames Valley Police said:

We will be working closely with our partners over the coming days and weeks to support the Reading community during this time, as well as with CTPSE as they progress their investigation. Police cordons continue to be in place and are likely to be for some time as CTPSE work further to investigate this incident and establish exactly what happened.

One of the patients admitted to Royal Berkshire Hospital after the stabbings has been discharged whilst another remains in a stable condition under observation.

A minute’s silence has been called by Mayor David Stevens in his recent twitter post:

Updated 9.16am, 21 June 2020

Thames Valley Police were called to Forbury Gardens in Reading at approximately 7pm on 20 June 2020, after reports were made that a number of people had been stabbed in a violent attack.

An eye witness, Laurence Wort, spoke to the BBC and said that he had been approximately 10 meters from the attack. Mr Wort witnessed a lone man enter the park area before ‘shouting some intelligible words’ and attempting to stab a large group of people.

Mr. Wort says the attacker made contact with three people in that group before turning and running towards him.  At that point, Mr Wort ran away and when the attacker realised he was unable to catch Mr Wort, the attacker turned his aggression on another group which was sitting down.  Mr Wort then saw the attacker stab one person in the back of the neck before fleeing the park.

Offices immediately attended the scene along with ambulance vehicles and two air ambulance helicopters.  A number of people had been stabbed by the attacker and those people were taken to hospital.  Unfortunately, three of those people have now died and other three have sustained serious injury.

A 25-year-old male from the Reading area was detained at the scene and has since been arrested on suspicion of murder.  The male is in police custody and Police confirm that they are not looking for an additional suspect at this time.  Home Affairs correspondent, Daniel Sandford, says he was told the suspect had previously been in prison in the UK for a minor offence, not related to terrorism.

Later in the evening at around 11pm, Armed Police officers were seen entering a block of flats off Basingstoke Road in Reading.  People living in the flats were removed by Police, or those returning home were asked to wait until the Police had finished their investigation.  At approximately 12.30pm, a loud ‘bang’ was reported to be heard coming from inside the flat.  It is unclear at this stage whether the flat was the home of the accused.

Updates from Police just after midnight confirm that the attack is not currently being treated as a terrorism incident, however Police have confirmed that the investigation is ongoing, and this is not their final judgement.

In addition, after early reports linked this attack to the Black Lives Matter protest, the attack was made approximately three hours after the protest and the Police believe that the two are not linked in any way.

Police are urging anyone who has any mobile phone footage to share that with the Police as soon as possible.

An increased Police presence will remain in the Forbury Gardens area during the course of Sunday 21 June whilst Police continue to investigate the attack and work to ensure the area remains safe and secure for visitors to the area.

Anyone with information on the attack, video footage or intel that they believe will help Police with the investigation should immediately call Thames Valley Police in 101, quoting references 1159 20/6.

Gi Media will update this story as new information comes to hand.




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