London attack: Macron and Turnbull lead world condemnation

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Scene of London attack the morning after - 4 JuneImage copyright
AFP

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The men were shot dead by police after driving into pedestrians and attacking them with knives.

World leaders have condemned Saturday’s London terror attack which left seven people dead and more than 30 injured.

President Emmanuel Macron said France, which had four citizens injured in the attack, was more than ever at Britain’s side.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said his “prayers and resolute solidarity” were with the British people.

One Australian was in hospital and another was affected by the attack, Mr Turnbull said.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday evening: “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the UK, we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”

Mr Trump also called for his travel ban on visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries to be upheld by US courts, where it is being challenged.

‘United in horror’

Mr Macron was one of the first world leaders to react to the events.

“In the face of this new tragedy, France is more than ever at Britain’s side. My thoughts go out to the victims and their loved ones.”

Four French citizens were injured in the attack, one seriously, French officials said.

Security measures were being “reinforced” so that French citizens in London would be able to vote in the first round of the country’s parliamentary elections this Sunday, the French news agency AFP reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement (in German): “Today we are united across borders in horror and mourning, but also in determination.

“For Germany, I reiterate that in the fight against all forms of terrorism, we are resolutely at Britain’s side.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was following the latest incidents “with horror”. He said: “Thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Please stay safe.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin “sends his deepest condolences to Britons and condemns the terrorist act that happened several hours ago in London”, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, quoted by Russian media.

Later in a telegram to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr Putin said joint efforts to fight terrorism “should be a mutual response”, according to a Kremlin statement.

Commonwealth leaders also rallied round the UK.

“Awful news from London tonight. We’re monitoring the situation,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter.

“New Zealand’s thoughts are with the victims of today’s attack,” said Prime Minister Bill English. “Too many lives are being taken by terrorists set on inflicting pain and suffering on innocent people.”

The New Zealand Herald reported that a New Zealander was recovering from multiple stab wounds in the attack.

Travel ban controversy

Mr Trump retweeted a line from right-wing website Drudge Report about the attacks. He followed it with a tweet calling for tough action:

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

Mr Trump’s executive order has caused controversy and its legality is being challenged.

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Twitter

The tweet also provoked sharp rebukes on social media.

“Opportunist-in-Chief speaks,” tweeted terrorism expert and Georgia State University Professor John Horgan.

Meanwhile British human rights barrister Adam Wagner tweeted: “Message from London: political point scoring is the absolute, LAST thing we need right now.”

A few minutes after the first two tweets, Mr Trump sent his message of support for the UK.

The US state department also issued a statement offering solidarity.

“The United States stands ready to provide any assistance authorities in the United Kingdom may request,” it said.



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