Counter-terrorism police have joined the investigation after a stabbing attack in Reading left three people dead and two critically injured.
Thames Valley said officers and other emergency had services attended “multiple stabbings” at a park in Forbury Gardens, Reading on Saturday night.
A Libyan man has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Stabbing attack in Reading, UK. Three killed, at least two seriously injured. One arrest made reportedly of a Libyan national. Authorities reportedly treating it as an act of terrorism. pic.twitter.com/GZJFh6XCeL
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) June 20, 2020
Police said they had taken several casualties to the Royal Berkshire hospital.A hospital spokeswoman confirmed that two of them were in critical condition in the emergency department.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his “thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading”.
“My thanks to the emergency services on the scene,” he added.
BBC correspondent Helena Wilkinson said one eyewitness told her that he saw a man move from group to group stabbing people, and then quickly leave the park.
There were reports that a police officer “rugby tackled” a suspect to the ground, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Khairi Saadallah, 25, from the town, was arrested at the scene on Saturday and police say they are not looking for anyone else over the terror incident.
Sources told the BBC he is originally from Libya and came to the attention of MI5 in 2019.
Security sources told the BBC the suspect came to the attention of the security services after they received information he had aspirations to travel to Syria – potentially for terrorism.
It is understood the information was further investigated, and no genuine threat or immediate risk was identified.
No case file was opened which would have made him a target for further investigation.
Khairi Saadallah arrived in the UK as a tourist in 2012 before claiming asylum cos he was at risk from Islamist extremists due to him not leading a 'strict religious life' in Libya.
He then converted to Christianity three years ago & had a tattoo of a cross on one of his arms. 🧐
— Noor Dahri (@dahrinoor2) June 21, 2020
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of counter-terrorism policing, described it as an “atrocity” and said his “deepest sympathies go to the families who will be mourning loved ones after this horrific act”.
One victim has been named as teacher James Furlong – described by his school as “talented and inspirational”.