UK police recover body in river that may be eighth victim of London Bridge attack
LONDON — Police searching for a French man who has been missing since the London Bridge attack say they have recovered a body from the River Thames.
The Metropolitan Police say the body was found Tuesday downstream from the bridge. The force says formal identification has not yet taken place, but Xavier Thomas’ next of kin have been informed.
If confirmed, Thomas would be the eighth person killed in the vehicle and knife attack. Almost 50 were wounded.
Thomas, 45, was walking with his girlfriend over the bridge when the attack began on Saturday night.
Police said earlier that witness accounts suggested he might have been thrown into the river. Thomas’ girlfriend was struck and seriously injured by the van.
Police early Wednesday arrested a 30-year-old man in east London in connection to the attack and are searching his home.
Two men are now in custody on suspicion of violating the Terrorism Act. They have not been identified or charged. All others who had been arrested have been released without facing charges.
London officials said a large part of the outer cordon of the crime scene had reopened. Borough Market, a popular gathering place, remains closed as more evidence is gathered.
The attack, and prior attacks in Manchester and near Parliament in London, have prompted Prime Minister Theresa May to call for tougher counterterrorism laws even if it means changing human rights protections.
Reaction to the attack has dominated the final days of campaigning before Thursday’s general election, with opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and others criticizing May for cutting police numbers by roughly 20,000 during her tenure as home secretary.
In the Saturday night rampage, the attackers first drove a rented van into a crowd and then jumped out and randomly stabbed people they encountered.
Police killed all three attackers.
At least two of the men were known to British intelligence and law-enforcement officials, raising questions about whether anything could have been done to prevent the assault.
Police have named the attackers as Khurum Butt, 27, who had been known for his extremist views; 30-year-old Rachid Redouane, also known as Rachid Elkhdar; and Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Italian national of Moroccan descent who was reportedly working in a London restaurant.
Italian authorities said Zaghba had been stopped and questioned in Italy but had not been charged with any crime. Italian officials said suspicions about him had been shared with British authorities.