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London, June 21, 2020
Three people were killed and three others were injured in a stabbing attack at a park in Reading, England, according to police.
Officers were called to Forbury Gardens in the city, about 80 km west of London, at about 7 p.m. on Saturday and "a number of people were injured and taken to hospital", Efe news quoted the Thames Valley Police as saying in a statement.
"Tragically, three of these people died, and another three sustained serious injuries," it said.
South Central Ambulance Service said early Sunday morning on Twitter that "we were assessing and treating a number of casualties who had sustained injuries as a result of the incident".
A 25-year-old Reading man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder, the police said, adding that although the incident was not currently being treated as terrorism, "officers are keeping an open mind as to the motivation for the incident and are being supported by colleagues from Counter Terrorism Policing South East".
Several police patrol vehicles and two air ambulances arrived at the park after the attack, and the area was cordoned off.
"Police cordons continue to be in place and are likely to be for some time as we work to establish the circumstances of what has happened," Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter said.
According to witness reports in British media, the suspect apparently randomly stabbed people sitting in the park and when he realized that people were running, the individual tried to flee the area.
A block of flats was raided after the arrest.
The stabbings took place around three hours after a peaceful anti-racism protest by the Black Lives Matter movement had taken place.
"There have been some reports that this incident was linked to the Black Lives Matter protest which took place in Reading earlier this afternoon. I can confirm that this incident is not connected," Hunter said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his "thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading", and thanked emergency services.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said her "heart, prayers and thoughts are with all of those affected".