London, Aug 4 (IANS) A woman was killed and five others were injured in a mass stabbing in London, while a 19-year-old suspect is currently in police custody, authorities said.
According to the London Metropolitan Police, the suspect was arrested at 10.39 p.m. on Wednesday night, after an officer fired a taser, BBC reported.
The suspect is at a south London police station after receiving treatment in hospital.
Police said mental health was a “significant factor” in the incident that took place in Russell Square, a busy area close to the British Museum and home to many hotels and restaurants popular with tourists.
“Early indications suggest mental health is a significant factor in this case and that is one major line of inquiry,” the Guardian quoted Mark Rowley, an assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan police and Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, as saying early Thursday morning.
“But of course at this stage we should keep an open mind regarding motive and consequently terrorism as a motivation remains but one line of inquiry for us to explore,” he added.
An eye-witness said the man was carrying a knife and had blood on his hands while another witness added he saw a “dark-skinned man” in his “late 20s” being arrested.
Police were called at 10.33 p.m. to reports of a man injuring people with a knife.
The victim, a woman in her 60s, was treated at the scene but was pronounced dead later, the BBC said.
Police said there would be an increased police presence on the streets of London from Thursday “for reassurance and safety”.
The attack was not linked with a separate stabbing in Wandsworth, southwest London, on Wednesday in which a man was killed and two others were injured, the Metropolitan police said.
The incident came after authorities earlier on Wednesday announced London would increase its presence of armed police after recent terror attacks in Europe.
In the terror attacks of July 7, 2005, the underground subway line running close to Russell Square was hit by the most devastating of the four bombs that killed 52 people and injured over 700 others.
Police have not established a terror link to the attack.