LONDON, March 22 - A British police officer was today stabbed in the Houses of Parliament in central London, in what police are treating as a �terrorist incident�.
The incident prompted lockdown within the House of Commons chamber. Prime Minister Theresa May was seen being ushered into a car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident, the BBC reported.
Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs the �alleged assailant was shot by armed police.� There are also reports of as many as five people being �mowed down� on nearby Westminster Bridge. MPs said they had heard three or four gunshots.
�Incident in #Westminster: We are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise,� the Metropolitan Police tweeted.
�#Westminster: We thank the public for their assistance & urge people to remain calm, be alert & vigilant.
�Officers � including firearms officers � are on scene and dealing with the incident in #Westminster,� it said. Staff inside Parliament were told to stay inside their offices.
Press Association political editor Andrew Woodcock, who witnessed the scenes unfolding from his office window, said, �I heard shouts and screams from outside and looked out, and there was a group of maybe 40 or 50 people running round the corner from Bridge Street into Parliament Square.
�They appeared to be running away from something.
�As the group arrived at the Carriage Gates, where policemen are posted at the security entrance, a man suddenly ran out of the crowd and into the yard.
�He seemed to be holding up a long kitchen knife,� he said. An eye witness, Radoslaw Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard�s Centre for European Studies, posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.
He wrote: �A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.�
Transport for London said Westminster underground station has been shut at the police�s request, and buses diverted.
Lidington said: �An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties.
�There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it�d be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on.� � PTI