In an atrocious attack witnessed by numerous bystanders on Wednesday, a man was hacked to death in London by two guys wielding a machete and cleaver while shouting “Allahu akbar” – or “God is great.”
The two suspects, who reportedly attacked the man near a group of military barracks in south London, were later shot at the scene by responding officers. They are currently hospitalized and under police supervision.
While officials have yet to release the victim’s identity, several news outlets – including French President Francois Hollande – referred to the victim as a military soldier.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in Paris when the attack took place, has since returned to London to meet with officials.
Cameron called the tragedy “an appalling murder” and “absolutely sickening.”
“There are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident,” he added.
In the immediate aftermath of the killing, one attacker – his hands still soaked in blood and holding a machete – delivered a political message to bystanders while waiting for police to arrive on scene.
“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying everyday,” shouted the man, an exchange that was captured on a witness’s cell phone.
"I apologize that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same," the killer continued. "You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you."
Wednesday’s attack, which took place on a busy suburban street near one of the city’s main military barracks, was witnessed by numerous pedestrians. Witnesses told several news outlets that some of those who also saw the attack were parents and children leaving a nearby primary school.
"Britain has suffered terrorist attacks before, terrorist attacks from the IRA, terrorist attacks from Islamic extremists," Cameron said. "We have suffered these attacks before and we have always beaten them back."
The Muslim Council of Britain quickly condemned the attack in a statement Wednesday.
"This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly," the group said. "Our thoughts are with the victim and his family. We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces."