Police shoot bomb suspect

A SUSPECTED suicide bomber was shot dead on the London Underground today. Marksmen opened fire as terrified passengers were evacuated from the platform at Stockwell Tube station just after 10am.

Alarmed onlookers said they saw police, some in plain clothes, chasing a man before shooting an Asian man as he tried to board a train.

They described seeing the suspect pushed to the ground and shot five times at close range.

Police have been given orders to shoot to kill if they believe someone is about to detonate a bomb.

Unconfirmed reports suggested the dead man was involved in yesterday's attacks in London.

If the suspect is confirmed to be a suicide bomber, it would mark the fifth attempted terrorist attack on Lo ndon in less than a day.

Tube services on the Victoria and Northern Lines were suspended following the shooting at the request of police.

At about the same time, armed officers surrounded the East London Mosque in Whitechapel following a bomb threat, although the area was quickly declared safe.

At Stockwell, witness Mark Whitby described seeing police shoot the man five times at close range after he had jumped on a train. The train was standing in the station with its doors open when he saw an Asian man run on, pursued by three plainclothes officers.

The man tripped and was also pushed to the floor and one of the officers shot him five times, said Mr Whitby, who had been sitting on the Tube train reading his paper, as it was stationary with its doors open.

People were heard shouting "get down, get down!" Mr Whitby said: "One of the police officers was holding a black automatic pistol in his left hand. They held it down to him and unloaded five shots into him. I saw it. He's dead, five shots, he's dead."

He reported the man did not seem to be carrying a weapon or wearing a rucksack.

Scotland Yard said: "We can confirm that just after 10am today armed officers shot a male at Stockwell Underground station." Passenger Briony Coetsee, 23, said: "We were on the Tube when we suddenly heard someone say 'get out, get out' and then we heard gunshots - someone was shooting.

"Somebody in plainclothes who I thought was a civilian cop had his gun out and started shooting and told us to get out."

Chris Wells, a 28-year-old company manager, said he was travelling on the Victoria Line towards Vauxhall when he left the train at Stockwell. He saw about 20 police officers, some of them armed, rushing into the station before a man jumped over the barriers with police giving chase.

He said: "There were at least 20 of them (officers) and they were carrying big black guns.

"The next thing I saw was this guy jump over the barriers and the police officers were chasing after him and everyone was just shouting 'get out, get out'."

Christopher Scaglione, 35, a fashion designer, was also on a Victoria Line Tube train shortly before the incident.

He said: "The train didn't stop at Vauxhall and so I got out at Stockwell.

"I was just on my way out when I heard at first a little bang, not like a bomb more like a gun, and then people were shouting."

He added: "People then started to run and I heard two or three more bangs like people shooting."

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