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Knife attack at British Museum: Man arrested after stabbing in the queue
8 August 2023, 11:03 | Updated: 8 August 2023, 13:48
A man has been arrested after a visitor was stabbed in the queue outside the British Museum.
The man has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous body harm, the Metropolitan Police has said.
The victim was rushed to hospital after the attack, which took place outside the museum where visitors typically queue to get in.
An eyewitness told LBC's reporter at the scene Henry Riley that he saw a man with a "large knife appearing angry" and "talking to himself" before stabbing a seemingly random 'tourist' in the arm.
He told LBC: "I was in the queue with my girlfriend and a friend. My girlfriend was hit in the back by a mobile phone. Then a looked back to see who send it.
"And saw a man taking a big knife or a machete from his bag, with very angry face expression. And started punching a young man near him."
The incident has been brought under control. The attraction opened shortly after midday.
Tourists reported being evacuated from the world-famous attraction just minutes after entering.
The Museum Tavern pub, opposite the attraction, is currently in lockdown and is "covered in blood", an eyewitness said.
There is no risk to the wider public, the Met added.
The Museum was closed this morning due to an incident following a member of the public being attacked nearby— British Museum (@britishmuseum) August 8, 2023
Visitors were evacuated as a precaution, and we wish the victim a swift recovery
The Museum has now reopened with raised security including a heightened search operation
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: "A man was treated for a stab wound to the arm at the scene and taken by London Ambulance Service to hospital.
"His condition is being assessed. This was an isolated incident and there is no outstanding risk to the public. It is not being treated as terror-related.
"The scene may be in place for much of today."
George Osborne, former chancellor and chairman of the British Museum, has thanked the museum's security team and other staff who reacted promptly to the incident and wished the victim the "best recovery".
The 52-year-old tweeted: "Disturbing news of a knife attack near the gates of the British Museum this am. "Much thanks to our security team and other BM staff, who reacted quickly, with the police.
"Museum has now reopened; everyone's thoughts at the BM are with the victim and we wish him the best recovery."