Australian PM offers resolute solidarity to Britain after London attack

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-04 12:42:16|Editor: ZD
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CANBERRA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government on Sunday confirmed that no Australians have been harmed in a terror attack which occurred in the heart of London overnight, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offering his "resolute support" to the British government and the people of London.

At least one person has been killed and dozens injured after a van was driven off the road on London Bridge in an attempt to hit pedestrians late Saturday night local time.

Men then exited the van and attacked nearby restaurants and bars, carrying knives and slashing at people.

On Sunday, Turnbull took to social media to condemn the attack and offer solidarity to one of Australia's oldest allies.

"Our prayers and resolute solidarity are today as always with the people of Britain in the face of the shocking terrorist attacks in London," he posted on social media platform Twitter.

In the wake of the incident, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that while no Australians were thought to have been hurt in the attack, she had spoken with Australia's high commissioner to Britain, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who confirmed that consular support had been activated for families of Australian travelers and workers who held concerns.

"Our High Commission in London that tells me British Police are treating it as a terrorist attack. So until we know otherwise we can assume that this follows a similar pattern to those we have seen elsewhere," Bishop told Sky News on Sunday.

"He has activated our consular support. He has made contact with all our employees and their families at the High Commission and so far we have had no reports of any Australians involved."

Bishop said the nature of the attack - whereby a vehicle attempts to run down pedestrians - was reminiscent of a similar incident which occurred in London earlier this year.

"We have seen this pattern before, including in the Westminster Bridge attack earlier this year," Bishop said. "We are certainly all on edge given what has happened in the UK, in Manchester, in recent weeks."

Meanwhile, opposition leader Bill Shorten also set a message of support, tweeting that "Australian hearts go out to our oldest friends" on such a "dark night."