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British police Name 2 London Attackers who killed 7 people and wounded more than 50

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This undated handout photo provided by the London Metropolitan Police shows Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane. VOA
  • British citizen Khuram Shazad Butt, 27 was one of the London Attackers 
  • The second attacker was identified as 30-year-old Rachid Reouane. Both men lived in the same area of East London
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May says police are also still working to determine the identities of all the victims

London, June 6, 2017: London Metropolitan police have named two of the three attackers who killed seven people and wounded more than 50 others Saturday.

British citizen Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, was previously known to authorities, but had not been viewed as a serious threat.

“There was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritized accordingly,” police said in a statement.

The second attacker was identified as 30-year-old Rachid Reouane. Both men lived in the same area of East London, police said.

Police are continuing to investigate the identity of the third attacker.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May says police are also still working to determine the identities of all the victims, but that so far it is known they include people of several nationalities.

“This was an attack on London and the United Kingdom, but it was also an attack on the free world,” she said.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick visit the scene of the attack on London Bridge and Borough Market which left 7 people dead and dozens of injured in central London, Britain, June 5, 2017.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick visit the scene of the attack on London Bridge and Borough Market which left 7 people dead and dozens of injured in central London, Britain, June 5, 2017. VOA

London police carried out more raids Monday and detained “a number” of people during searches at locations in the Newham and Barking areas.

London mayor Sadiq Khan thanked the police in a statement Monday for “running toward danger” and risking their lives for civilian safety.

[bctt tweet=”The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]

“All of us pay tribute to the amazing work of the police and emergency service,” Khan said. “The speed of their response led to fewer lives being lost.”

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Police have said Saturday’s attack involved three men who were inside a van that struck pedestrians on London Bridge, then got out and stabbed numerous people at a nearby market area before being shot dead by police.

“We are trying to find out whether anybody was helping them and to understand the background to this attack as best as we possibly can,” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told Sky News.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency.

May said Sunday that three terrorist attacks in Britain in the last three months are “bound together by the evil ideology of Islamist extremism.”

There is “far too much tolerance for extremism in our country,” May said. “We need to be more robust in identifying and stamping out extremism in public service and across society…it’s time to say enough is enough.”

Police officers stand at a road block near a property in East Ham, east London, Britain, June 5, 2017.
Police officers stand at a road block near a property in East Ham, east London, Britain, June 5, 2017. VOA

No link to Manchester attack

May said Saturday’s attack does not appear to be connected to the a suicide bombing last month that killed 22 people after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester or another attack on pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in March.

But she said “terrorism breeds terrorism” and that the perpetrators are “copying one another.”

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the attack saying, “There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”

Farhad Ahmad, a London Imam, told Sky News “people need to be told that there is no support for this in Islam at all.”

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates each issued statements condemning the attack and expressing support for Britain.

At a Mass marking Pentecost, the end of the Easter season, Pope Francis asked for prayers for the victims and their families. He also prayed for “peace to the whole world” and for the wounds of war and terrorism to be healed.

Commander Mak Chishty of the Metropolitan Police read a statement denouncing the attack on behalf of the London Muslim community Monday.

“The Muslim community appeals to all sections within their own communities to root out the scourge of terrorism which hides amongst their own people and masquerades as Islam,” he said.

Ariana Grande performs during the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack at Emirates Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, in Britain, June 4, 2017.
Ariana Grande performs during the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack at Emirates Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, in Britain, June 4, 2017. VOA

A moment of silence also was held in Manchester, where American pop singer Ariana Grande returned to headline an all-star concert to raise money for the victims of the May 22 suicide bombing.

Fifty-thousand people, including some who were wounded in the concert attack, attended the show, which raised more than $2.5 million. (VOA)

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President of Egypt Calls for Collective Action Against Countries Supporting Terrorism

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The president of Egypt Urges world leaders to take decisive action against states supporting terrorism. Pixabay

Egypt’s president Wednesday called for “decisive” and “collective” action against countries supporting “terrorism” in an apparent reference to Turkey and Qatar, who back the Muslim Brotherhood group, which is outlawed in Egypt.

The three countries also support opposing factions in the war-torn Libya.

Addressing a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi also said achieving sustainable development in Africa is needed, along with efforts to fight militant groups in Egypt and the Sahel region that stretches across Africa south of the Sahara Desert.

“There should be a decisive response to countries supporting terrorism and a collective response against terrorism, because the terrorist groups will only have the ability to fight if they are provided with financial, military and moral support,” he said.

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi Egypt
The President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. VOA

The gathering in Aswan is attended by the leaders of Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Senegal along with officials from the U.S., Britain and Canada.

The Sahel region is home to al-Qaida and Islamic State group-linked militants. El-Sissi said Egypt could help train forces and provide weapons to countries in the region to fight extremists.

Egypt has for years been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 amid mass protests against his brief rule.

Militant-related violence in Egypt has been centered on the Sinai Peninsula, as well as in the country’s vast Western Desert, which has witnessed deadly attacks blamed on militants infiltrating from neighboring Libya.

Since Morsi’s ouster, tensions have grown between Egypt and Turkey and Egypt and Qatar. The political party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo designated as at terrorist group in 2013.

Upcoming conference

El-Sissi also said a “comprehensive, political solution would be achieved in the coming months” for the conflict in Libya, which descended into chaos after the 2011 civil war that ousted and killed long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He did not elaborate.

Egypt
This photo provided by the office of Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, dignitaries including Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, gather, for a photo during a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Egypt. VOA

He said that would put an end to a “terrorist hotbed that pushes militants and weapons to (Libya’s) neighboring countries including Egypt.”

El-Sissi apparently was referring to an international summit in Berlin that aims to reach an agreement on actions needed to end the conflict. The conference had been scheduled for October, but it has apparently been postponed.

After the 2011 civil war, Libya split in two, with a weak U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli overseeing the country’s west and a rival government in the east aligned with the Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Maritime border agreement 

El-Sissi’s comments came amid heightened tensions with Turkey after a controversial maritime border agreement it signed last month with Libya’s Tripoli-based government.

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Greece, Egypt and Cyprus, which lie between the two geographically, have denounced the deal as being contrary to international law, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the issue.

Hifter has for months been fighting an array of militias allied with the Tripoli authorities to wrestle control of the capital.  He is backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, while the Tripoli-based government receives aid from Turkey, Qatar and Italy. (VOA)