/Reading terror attack suspect named as Libyan refugee Khairi Saadallah

Reading terror attack suspect named as Libyan refugee Khairi Saadallah

A 25-year-old man arrested in connection with a terror attack in Reading that left three people dead has been named as Khairi Saadallah.

Saadallah, a refuge from Libya, is being held by police after three people were killed and three seriously injured in a knife attack in a park in Forbury Gardens at around 7pm on Saturday.

A shaken witness told Mirror Online he saw blood spurting and victims dropping “like a weight” as a man appeared to be “tapping them on the head” at random.

Another witness said the knifeman “shouted some unintelligible words” and stabbed victims in the neck and under their arms as the horrific mass stabbing unfolded.

Extremely graphic video on social media shows at least four people covered in blood while witnesses and police officers performed CPR on victims who appeared to be motionless.

Police arresting a suspected in Reading town centre

Two people with stab wounds were rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital and were being treated in the emergency department.

Two air ambulances landed at the scene and armed officers and a police helicopter were among the large presence.

The alleged knifeman was “rugby tackled” to the ground by a hero police officer, a source said.

Video footage shows a police officer kneeling over a man who appears to be face down in the middle of the street in the Berkshire town as two of his colleagues stand over.

Loud sirens from police cars rushing to the scene are ringing in the background.

An officer is kneeling over the police
Sirens can be heard from police cars racing to the scene

Heavily-armed and masked police and counter-terrorism officers were later seen at a block of flats in Reading after Saturday evening’s attack, with a controlled explosion heard from inside by onlookers as residents were evacuated.

Dan, a 26-year-old local, said he was drinking wine in the park with two friends when he noticed a commotion about 20 metres away.

He described how he and his friends had chosen a spot to sit and enjoy the sunshine when he saw a man approach a group “just in a circle chatting”.

The man drew his attention because he appeared to be racing around the group “tapping them on the head”.

Police and air ambulance at the scene in Reading
(Image: @ClaireLJG1987 /Twitter)
The attack took place on Saturday around 7am
(Image: Get Reading WS)

Reflecting on the disturbing moment he realised it was an attack, Dan said: “I thought they were playing duck duck goose and thought someone had been sick, we realised it was blood spraying out.”

He and his two friends sprang up and began running as they saw the attacker move toward another group in what he thought was a random attack.

Dan said he saw the man take a blow to a woman’s neck- but couldn’t be sure if he was using a knife as he and his friends never got a close look at the weapon.

The woman “dropped like a weight,” Dan said.

Armed police officers at a block of flats
(Image: PA)
A police officer stands outside flats in Reading
(Image: REUTERS)

Four people were on the ground and “immobile”, and there may have been additional victims, he said.

He added: “I saw a man with his face bleeding but stood up. When the first 2 people were stabbed the group stood up, and two of the people who dropped to the ground were stood up.”

A second witness, Lawrence Wort, was sitting close to the group in the park when the attack unfolded, and said it appeared to be “completely random”.

Mr Wort, a 20-year-old personal trainer from Chippenham, said: “The park was pretty full, a lot of people sat around drinking with friends when one lone person walked through.”

Three people died in the attack on Saturday evening
(Image: Vagner Vidal/Hyde News & Pictures Ltd)

“[He] suddenly shouted some unintelligible words and went round a large group – of around 10 – trying to stab them.

“He stabbed three of them severely in the neck, and under the arms and then turned and started running towards me when we turned and started running.”

“When he realised that he couldn’t catch us he tried to stab another group sat down.”

One of the victims was stabbed in the back of the neck, and when the attacker realised everyone was starting to run, he ran out of the park, said Mr Wort.

A map showing where the stabbings took place
(Image: Press Association Images)

Boris Johnson, who has described the incident as appalling, held a meeting on Sunday with security officials, senior ministers and police to be updated about the investigation, a spokesman said.

Floral tributes have been left to victims at a police cordon near the scene of the Reading stabbings.

One reads: “There are no words that anyone can say to express how horrible and senseless this was.

“Our prayers are with all the victims and their families and friends.

A floral tribute at the scene
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Flowers are left at an entrance to Forbury Gardens
(Image: Getty Images)

Latest news on Reading stabbings

“Reading stands united.”

Another card simply said: “Reading weeps.

“I could not sleep. I had to come and say goodbye.”

Thames Valley Police has said there was no connection to the Black Lives Matter protest in the town earlier on Saturday.

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