(By: Ryan Rocca)
Five people are dead and 40 are injured following a terrorist attack in London Wednesday.
The attack began around 2:40 p.m. local time when a terrorist, who has been identified as 52 year-old Khalid Masood, began mowing down pedestrians as he drove his car on a sidewalk along Westminster Bridge.
The attacker continued to drive his vehicle along Westminster Bridge towards the U.K. Parliament buildings.
The terrorist then crashed his vehicle into the gates of the U.K. Parliament buildings and exited the car with a knife in his hand.
Masood then breached Parliament grounds and stabbed a police officer to death.
The police officer has been identified as PC Keith Palmer, a 48 year-old husband and father, according to U.K. media reports.
It was at that point that security officials opened fire on the Masood and killed him.
Not long after the attack began, U.K. parliament was placed on lockdown and nearby Tube stations were evacuated.
ISIL has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came exactly one year after the Brussels bombings that killed 35 people and injured 340.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May spoke late Wednesday evening, calling the attack “sick and depraved.”
“The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech,” she said.
Other world leaders have also sent messages of support following the attack, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s attack in London & their families. Canadians remain united with the people of the UK.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 22, 2017
Spoke to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May today to offer condolences on the terrorist attack in London. She is strong and doing very well.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2017
Following the attack, authorities arrested eight people – three women and five men – on suspicion of preparing additional terrorist attacks.
Wednesday’s attack in London comes just days after U.S. and U.K. authorities announced that electronics would be banned from carry-ons on flights from certain areas in the Middle East and Africa due to a terror threat. Canada is also considering a similar ban.
The U.K.’s terror threat level remains at severe. Canada’s threat level stands at medium and Canadian authorities announced Wednesday that it would remain unchanged despite the attack in London.
Watch the video below from BBC news to see video from the scene and hear from witnesses of the London attack.