Car explosion in Liverpool declared ‘terrorist incident’ by UK police – .

Car explosion in Liverpool declared ‘terrorist incident’ by UK police – .

LONDON – A fatal car explosion outside a busy women’s hospital in the city of Liverpool, north west England, over the weekend was declared a terrorist incident by police Monday.

“Although the motivation for this incident is not yet understood, considering all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and the counterterrorism police are continuing their investigation,” said Russ Jackson, chief of the counterterrorism police in the north. -West of England, in a news. conference.

Later Monday, UK intelligence agency MI5 said it had raised the country’s terrorist “threat level” to “serious,” which it said means “an attack is very likely.”

The threat level has alternated several times over the past two years between “serious” and “substantial”, the latter meaning “an attack is likely”.

A passenger in the car was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday, while the driver sustained non-life threatening injuries and is now discharged from hospital, police said. Neither man has been identified by police.

Three men, aged 21, 26 and 29, were arrested in connection with the incident on Sunday. A fourth man, 20, was arrested on Monday, police said.

Police and medical examiners are working on the scene of a car explosion at Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Monday morning.Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Jackson said investigators believed an improvised explosive device was used in the blast.

“Our assumption so far is that this was built by the taxi passenger,” he said. “The reason he then took him to the women’s hospital is unknown, as is the reason for his sudden explosion. “

Earlier Monday, Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson called the taxi driver’s actions “heroic”.

Anderson told the BBC that the driver got out of the car and locked the doors before the explosion hit on Sunday.

“The taxi driver in his heroic efforts managed to deflect what could have been an absolutely terrible disaster at the hospital,” Anderson said of the incident.

Investigators have not commented on Anderson’s account.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also praised the driver of the vehicle.

“It appears the taxi driver in question behaved with incredible presence of mind and bravery,” Johnson told reporters, adding that details of what exactly happened were still being worked out. .

Police were called to report a car explosion just before 11 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, just as a Remembrance Day service commemorating the dead from Britain to War, was taking place in nearby Liverpool Cathedral.

The car involved was a taxi that stopped at the hospital shortly before the explosion, police said.

Jackson said it appears the taxi driver was instructed by the passenger to take him to the women’s hospital, and as the taxi neared the drop-off point, an explosion rocked the car, l ‘quickly engulfing in flames, but the driver managed to escape.

Photos from the scene showed a burning vehicle near the main entrance to the hospital.

Jackson said “significant items” had been found while searching for a Liverpool address in connection with the incident, and further research may be needed.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital said in a statement on Sunday evening that it had restricted access to visits until further notice, but patients were no longer being diverted to other hospitals.


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