By Guy Faulconbridge and Estelle Shirbon
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain must be tougher in stamping out Islamist extremism after attackers killed at least seven people by ramming a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbing revelers in nearby bars.
After the third militant attack in Britain in less than three months, May said Thursday’s national election would go ahead. But she proposed regulating cyberspace and said Britain had been far too tolerant of extremism.
“It is time to say enough is enough,” the Conservative leader said outside her Downing Street office, where British flags flew at half-staff.
“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” May said, adding that Britain was under attack from a new breed of crude copycat militants.
Islamic State, which is losing territory in Syria and Iraq to an offensive backed by a U.S.-led coalition, said its militants were responsible for the attack, the group’s media agency Amaq said in a statement monitored in Cairo.
One French national and one Canadian were among those killed. At least 48 people were injured in the attack. Australia said one of its citizens was among the injured.
Police shot dead the three male assailants in the Borough Market area near London Bridge within eight minutes of receiving the first emergency call shortly after 10 p.m. (2100 GMT).
Mark Rowley, head of counter-terrorism police, said eight officers had fired about 50 bullets to stop the attackers, who appeared to be suicide bombers because they were wearing what turned out to be fake suicide vests.