The Latest: Australia confirms 2 citizens dead

AP News
Posted: Jun 06, 2017 6:17 PM
The Latest: Australia confirms 2 citizens dead

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the attacks in the London Bridge area (all times local):

11:13 p.m.

Australia's foreign minister has confirmed that two Australians were killed in the van and knife attacks on London Bridge and London's Borough Market.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says in a statement: "The Australian government is deeply saddened to confirm that two Australians have been killed in the London terrorist attack."

Bishop has not revealed their names. But London police say Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, 26, is among the seven killed. The family of 21-year-old London-based nanny Sara Zelenak says she had not been heard of his the attack. Another two Australians are recovering from stab wounds to the neck.


9:55 p.m.

Irish police say they have arrested a man in connection with the London Bridge attack.

Ireland's police force, Garda Siochana, said a man in his 30s was arrested Tuesday in Wexford county, south of Dublin, under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

He is being questioned about documentation connected to Rachid Redouane, one of the three attackers identified by British police.

Redouane, who claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan, had spent time in both Britain and Ireland.

Redouane and two other men were shot dead by police after they went on a vehicle and knife rampage on and around the bridge on Saturday, killing seven people and wounding almost 50.


8 p.m.

Residents of an Italian suburb where one of the London Bridge attackers spent time say he was a "good boy" but that some suspicions were raised.

Franca Lambertini, Youssef Zaghba's aunt by marriage who lives near his mother Valeria Collina close to the city of Bologna, told The Associated Press: "I know him little from when he stayed with his mother. For me he was a good boy, but."

She said that just last week her daughter said: "Mom, I hope Youssef doesn't have anything to do with that sort of thing.'"

She said she replied: "'Forget about it! He's a good boy, what do you think?' This is what happened, I swear."

Franco Orsi, a neighbor of Collina, says she never spoke about her son.

"She would say that one was abroad, the daughter lives in Bologna. She didn't say more. She never talked about anything, especially of her children."


7:30 p.m.

The Italian mother of one of the London Bridge attackers says her son used to show her videos of Syria and said he wanted to go there "because it was a place where you could live according to a pure Islam."

Valeria Collina, who converted to Islam and lives near Bologna, was quoted by Italian newsmagazine L'Espresso as saying she last spoke to her son, Youssef Zaghba, two days before Saturday's attacks. Collina says she now realizes it was a goodbye call.

She had planned to fly to London in a few days to celebrate the end of Ramadan with her 22-year-old son and was informed on Tuesday by Italian intelligence agents that he was dead.

Collina says that even though Zaghba was eager to go to Syria, he never told her he wanted to fight as a jihadi. She says she tried to keep him away from radical friends, but "he had the internet, and from there he got everything."

She also says she agrees with the Muslim imams who have refused to preside over her son's funeral.


7:05 p.m.

London police say a French man who has been missing since the night of the London Bridge attack may have been thrown into the River Thames by the killers' speeding van.

The Metropolitan Police force appealed Tuesday for information about 45-year-old Xavier Thomas, who was walking with his girlfriend over the bridge when the attack began on Saturday night.

The force said witness accounts suggest Thomas might have been thrown into the river, and is urging anyone who saw anything to contact detectives.

Thomas' girlfriend was struck and seriously injured by the van.

Boats from the police marine unit and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution have been searching the river since the attack.


6:50 p.m.

Authorities in Italy say the Italian mother of one of the London Bridge attackers had converted to Islam and wore a veil in the Bologna suburb where she lived alone.

Mayor Daniele Ruscigno of Valsamoggia, in the province of Bologna, tells The Associated Press that Valeria Collina was "very reserved, so locals really don't know her. I don't even know her."

Collina is the mother of 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba, who London police identified Tuesday as one of the three men who drove into pedestrians on the bridge then stabbed people in a food market and restaurants nearby.

Collina lived in the tiny hamlet of Castello di Serravalle. City records listed Zaghba as having been born in Morocco and a resident overseas during 2004-2016.

Ruscigno says Zaghna is believed to have been in Morocco, where his father lived, during those years. He says Zaghba returned to Bologna for a few days in 2016, "passing through to go to other countries and we imagine he settled in London in that period."


6:35 p.m.

An Italian prosecutor says one of the London Bridge attackers told authorities after being stopped at Bologna's airport he "wanted to be a terrorist," but then quickly corrected himself.

Bologna prosecutor Giuseppe Amato said Tuesday and there wasn't enough evidence to arrest or charge Youssef Zaghba when authorities stopped him at the city's Marconi airport on March 15, 2016.

But Amato tells Italy's Radio 24 that Zaghba was flagged to British authorities as a "possible suspect."

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Tuesday that Zaghba was stopped while trying to take a flight to Turkey on his way to Syria.

Amato says any time Zaghba was in Italy after that, he was always tracked by Italian intelligence officers.

He says: "We did everything we could have done, but there weren't elements of proof that he was a terrorist."


5:45 p.m.

A British soccer club has applauded the bravery of one of its fans who fought back against attackers in the London Bridge attack.

Millwall Football Club commended Roy Larner, 47, for "his immense bravery in incredibly terrifying circumstances." Larner told the Sun newspaper that he was knifed eight times after attackers targeted a pub where he was out for a night with friends, shouting "This is for Allah!"

He says the attackers were chanting "Islam! Islam!" and that he responded with an obscenity, adding "I'm Millwall."

The club, which has a reputation for violent supporters, says it "stands together with all other football clubs and organizations in offering its absolute support to those in need following the tragic events of last Saturday night."


3:15 p.m.

An Italian prosecutor says one of the London Bridge attackers told authorities at Bologna's airport he "wanted to be a terrorist," but then quickly corrected himself.

Bologna prosecutor Giuseppe Amato said Tuesday and there wasn't enough evidence to arrest or charge Youssef Zaghba when authorities stopped him at the city's Marconi airport on March 15, 2016.

But Amato tells Italy's Radio 24 that Zaghba was flagged to British authorities as a "possible suspect."

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Tuesday that Zaghba was stopped while trying to take a flight to Turkey on his way to Syria.

Amato says any time Zaghba was in Italy after that, he was always tracked by Italian intelligence officers.

He says: "We did everything we could have done, but there weren't elements of proof that he was a terrorist. He was someone who was suspicious because of his way of behaving."


1:30 p.m.

Family members of a 21-year-old Australian nanny who is missing in London after the London Bridge attacks are pleading for information and raising money to fly her parents to Britain.

Sara Zelenak's mother Julie Wallace told Brisbane radio station 97.3FM that the family had planned to meet Sara in Europe soon.

"We were counting down the days to see her," Wallace said. "The last time I spoke to her was our time Friday afternoon at 4:42 and she said, 'Oh mum! It's only 28 days until you and I and dad can have baguettes and cheese and croissants in Paris."

A woman named Tara who identified herself as Sara Zelenak's aunt said the family is "bracing for the worst." Speaking to media Tuesday outside the family's home in Ormiston in eastern Australia, the aunt called Zelenak a "special, kindred spirit."

London police said Australian woman Kirsty Boden was among the seven killed, and the Australian government confirmed that two Australians are among the injured. Australia's prime minister says officials are working to try to find out what happened to Zelenak.


1:20 p.m.

Surveillance video from a bar in Borough Market obtained by local Spanish newspaper Diario de Pontevedra shows the moment when one of the assailants in Saturday's attack is blocked from accessing a packed bar moments before he was shot by the police.

The camera captured how staff at the Arthur Hooper's bar sheltered customers and other passers-by as the attack unfolded, the newspaper said. As various people try to close off the entrance, manager Sergio Farina can be seen wrestling the door against one of the assailants who is trying to charge against it.

"The police opened fired when one person was stabbed," Farina told the newspaper, adding that the assailant was shot by the police a few meters away from the bar's entrance.

The manager's brother, Rafael, a reporter with Diario de Pontevedra, told the AP that 28 people were sheltered that night in the bar. He said his brother, who has lived in London for 16 years, was more shocked about the events than proud of his action. "My brother doesn't want to be a hero, he just did what anybody would do," said Rafael Farina.


1 p.m.

The Pakistani cousin of one of the London Bridge killers said the attack has shattered his family.

Bilal Dar told The Associated Press in the Pakistani city of Jhelum that his cousin, Khurum Butt, lived in the city until he was about 7 years old.

Dar said the last time he spoke to Butt it wasn't obvious that he had turned to radical Islamist beliefs.

"Our family is hurt by what he did," Dar said. "This has destroyed our family's pride."

Dar, 18, said that Pakistani intelligence agents were interviewing relatives.


12:55 p.m.

The mayor of London says he couldn't care less about the accusatory tweets being issued by the president of the United States.

Sadiq Khan told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he "really couldn't be bothered about what Donald Trump tweets."

Trump has repeatedly singled out the mayor of London for criticism following the van-and-knife attack on Saturday night that left seven people dead and scores more injured.

Khan in turn has asked the government to reconsider its decision to invite Trump for a state visit, a move the mayor described as "inappropriate."

Khan spoke to the AP outside the headquarters of London's Ambulance Service following a minute of silence held in honor of the victims of the attack.


12:20 p.m.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Tuesday that Youssef Zaghba, the third named London Bridge attacker, had been stopped in Italy while trying to go to Syria in 2016.

Zaghba, who was said to be born in Morocco to a Moroccan father and an Italian mother, was stopped at Bologna's Marconi airport on March 15, 2016, while he tried to take a flight to Turkey. He was allegedly on his way to Syria and was carrying only a backpack.

The report said that Italy had put him on a watch list and flagged his presence to Moroccan and British authorities. The parents lived for a time in Morocco and when they separated the mother returned to Italy and re-established herself in Bologna.

Zaghba was reportedly working in a London restaurant and had not been seen in Italy since 2016.

A British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the attack investigation confirmed the details of the Italian report, and said that the man had not been considered a "person of interest," meaning they had no reason to think he was violent or planning an attack.


12:10 p.m.

Police have identified another victim of the London Bridge attacks as Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, releasing a statement from her family praising her work and her effort to help other victims.

The Metropolitan Police issued a statement Tuesday on behalf of her family saying, "As she ran towards danger, in an effort to help people on the bridge, Kirsty sadly lost her life." Police did not elaborate on how she was killed.

The family said her actions "demonstrate how selfless, caring and heroic she was, not only on that night, but throughout all of her life."

Australian media reported that Boden was 28 and from Loxton in southern Australia.

Boden was among seven people killed in the Saturday night attacks. Another Australian woman, Sara Zelenak, has been reported missing since the attack.


11:50 a.m.

British police have named the third London Bridge attacker at 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba, believed to be an Italian national of Moroccan descent.

Police said Tuesday he is from east London and his family has been notified.

Police say he was not a "subject of interest" to police or the intelligence services.

The other two attackers were named Monday as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane.


11:35 a.m.

People across Britain have paused for a moment of silence to remember those killed and injured in the London Bridge attack.

Commuters paused in train stations, hospital staff gathered in hospital foyers and workers stopped work in government offices at 11 a.m. (1000GMT). Ambulance workers, many of whom treated the wounded in Saturday's attack, gathered outside their headquarters alongside Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Dozens of people gathered in driving rain at the end of London Bridge, where a growing mound of flowers sits beside a police cordon.

Seven people were killed and almost 50 injured when three attackers ran down pedestrians on the bridge, then stabbed passers-by in nearby Borough Market. The attackers were shot dead by police.


10:40 a.m.

The gym where one of the London Bridge attackers trained says they saw nothing of concern during his time there.

In a letter posted outside, the Ummah Fitness Centre said staff would "help the police in any way we can" as investigators try to learn more about Khuram Shazad Butt.

Butt was among three men who rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed people in nearby Borough Market. Seven people died and dozens were wounded during the attack late Saturday.

Neighbors described Butt as an avid weightlifter and Transport for London confirmed he worked for London Underground in customer service before leaving last October.


10:30 a.m.

Spain's foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis, says his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, has promised to accelerate efforts to identify victims in Saturday's attack that killed seven people and injured dozens more.

Ignacio Echeverria, a 39 year-old Spanish banker remains missing after trying to help a woman injured in the vicinity of Borough Market, near London Bridge, his father said based on the account of a friend of Echeverria's who was at the scene.

The friend described seeing Echeverria for the last time lying on the floor after confronting one of the assailants.

Ignacio's father, Joaquin Echeverria, told The Associated Press that the family was flying to London on Tuesday to join other relatives.

He said authorities had not shared any information with them.

The son's employer, HSBC, has provided the services of a private detective to aide in the hunt for information.


9.05 a.m.

Much of the area around London Bridge remained cordoned off as police continued to investigate Saturday's attack that killed seven people.

The area around Borough Market is not expected to reopen Tuesday.

The nearby London Bridge station was operational though one of the exits that leads to the cordoned off area on Borough High Street remained closed.

Transport for London, which oversees the capital's transport network, has advised commuters, struggling to get to work in the driving rain, to make alternative journeys as the station will be busy.

A minute's silence is due to be observed in Britain at 11 a.m. local time (1000 GMT) in memory of the seven people who died during the attack late Saturday.


7.40 a.m.

A new search is underway in a neighborhood near the home of two of the London Bridge attackers, hours after police said they had freed everyone detained following the attack.

London police said all 12 people held since the attack late Saturday from the Barking neighborhood in the east of the city have been freed without charge. A new search was underway Tuesday in Ilford, just north of Barking.

The attack left seven people dead and dozens wounded before police shot dead the three attackers, who wore fake suicide vests.

One of them, Khuram Shazad Butt, had appeared in a documentary "The Jihadis Next Door" and was known to investigators. The second man, Rachid Redouane, had not aroused any suspicions. Police have not released the identity of the third attacker.