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British police name Khalid Masood, 52, as London attacker

ritish police on Thursday named Khalid Masood as the man who killed three people near the UK parliament before being shot dead.

The militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying one of its “soldiers” carried out the deadly rampage at the British parliament.

The IS claim came after armed police arrested eight people in raids linked to Wednesday’s attack that left three people dead and sowed panic in the heart of London.

Masood, 52, was born in Kent to the southeast of London and had most recently been living in central England, London police said.

“Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack,” they said in a statement.

“However, he was known to police and has a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH (grievous bodily harm), possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.”

He had not been convicted previously for any terrorism offences, they said.

“An act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy,” British Prime Minister Theresa May told a packed House of Commons earlier in the day, which stood for a minute’s silence in remembrance of the victims of the strike on the very symbol of British democracy.

“We are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism,” she said

Just hours after she spoke, Belgian police arrested a man as he tried to drive into a crowd at high speed in a shopping area in the port city of Antwerp.

That was the third incident in a week in Europe after London and a weekend attack at Paris’s Orly airport and came a day after the first anniversary of the Brussels suicide bombings that killed 32 people and were also claimed by IS.

AP | REUTERS

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