READING: British police said Sunday they were treating a stabbing spree in which a lone assailant killed three people in a park filled with families and friends in the southern English city of Reading as a “terrorism incident”.
The Thames Valley police said three people were also seriously injured and they had detained a 25-year-old suspect from the historic town 60 kilometres (35 miles) west of London.
They made no reference to reports that the man was a Libyan national.
Footage showed what appeared to be a large number of counter-terror police performing a controlled explosion at a residence where the suspect is believed to have lived shortly after the Saturday evening attack.
“Counter Terrorism Policing can now confirm that the stabbing incident that happened in Reading last night, has now been declared a terrorist incident,” police said in a statement.
The counter-terror police “will be taking over the investigation,” said the statement.
Downing Street said Prime Minister Boris Johnson was briefed about the incident by security officials and senior ministers on Sunday morning.
The Conservative leader condemned the “appalling incident” and top politicians expressed sympathies for those hurt at Forbury Gardens — a popular park situated next to the ruins of the 12th-century Reading Abbey.
“Incidents of this nature are very rare, though I know that will be of little comfort to those involved and understand the concern that this incident will have caused amongst our local community,” Thames Valley Police chief John Campbell said.