Police in the British capital have fired gunshots to contain an attack in front of the Ukrainian embassy in London with authorities yet to determine whether terrorism had a role.
The Metropolitan Police said “police firearms were discharged” during an incident outside the embassy in Holland Park, in central London, where an attacker rammed his car repeatedly to a vehicle belonging to the Ukrainian ambassador in the UK.
The embassy issued a statement detailing the attack, saying the ambassador or other embassy staff had not been in the car when the attack took place around 10 a.m. local time.
“The police were called immediately, and the suspect’s vehicle was blocked up,” said the statement, adding, “Nevertheless, despite the police actions, the attacker hit the Ambassador’s car again. In response, the police were forced to open fire on the perpetrator’s vehicle.”
The embassy said a police investigation had been launched to determine the motives behind the attack, adding that the culprit had been apprehended and taken to a police station.
There was no immediate information from Scotland Yard on the identity of the attacker and whether terrorism was involved.
However, local witnesses said they had seen a car driving by the Ukrainian embassy shooting at the windows while others said at least 10 gunshots had been heard.
A shop worker in the area said police’s response to the attack was relatively “very quick”, saying many police cars rushed to the scene of the incident. Eight of those police vehicles were still in the area despite The Met declaring the incident was over. The area on the western edge of London borough of Kensington is also home to embassies of Greece, Cameroon and Uzbekistan.
Britain is still on a high level of alert over a number of high-profile terrorist attacks that rocked the country in 2017, killing dozens of people.