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UK PM Boris vows action after convicted terrorist named

UK PM Boris vows action after convicted terrorist named

LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed Saturday to review Britain's sentencing system after a convicted terrorist released early from prison stabbed two people to death and injured three in a London Bridge attack.

Bystanders have been hailed as heroes for preventing even greater loss of life by tackling Usman Khan -- one armed with a five-foot (1.5-metre) narwhal tusk and another with a fire extinguisher -- before police shot him dead.

Video footage of the confrontation showed Khan, 28, being challenged by a man, reportedly a Polish chef, wielding the tusk -- believed to have been grabbed from the historic hall where the stabbings began -- as another person sprayed him with the extinguisher.

He had been conditionally released from jail last December after serving less than half of a 16-year prison sentence for terrorism, and was wearing a fake explosive device.

Investigators have said they are not actively seeking anyone else in connection with the stabbings.

The incident comes two years after Islamist extremists in a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking people at random with knives in nearby Borough Market.

Eight people were killed and 48 wounded before the three attackers, who were wearing fake suicide devices, were shot dead by police.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a briefing Saturday that five people were stabbed in total inside Fishmonger's Hall before members of the public pursued the attacker onto London Bridge. The three survivors remain in hospital.

Basu added that Khan had been released under "an extensive list of licence conditions" with which he had previously been complying.

Police on Saturday searched two properties in Stoke-on-Trent, Khan's home city, and Stafford in central England.

The latest attack came less than two weeks before Britain's general election, and politicians temporarily suspended campaigning.

"It does not make sense for us as a society to be putting people who have been convicted of terrorist offences... out on early release," Johnson, who became Tory leader in July, said as he visited the scene.

"We argue that people should serve the tariff, serve the term, of which they are sentenced," the prime minister added, noting the Conservatives' manifesto calls for a tougher sentencing regime.

Johnson spoke hours before the first victim of the attack was named as Jack Merritt, a course coordinator at Cambridge University's criminology institute, according to media reports.

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