UK police arrested a lone driver after he drove a car into the gates of the UK prime minister’s residence on Downing Street in London on Thursday.
Police arrested the man on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving, but officials have yet to determine whether the crash was intentional. Armed security patrols the gate at all time, but no one was injured in the incident.
Images showed the vehicle, a white sedan, crashing into the gate at relatively low speed.
“I heard a bang and looked up and saw loads of police with taser guns shouting at the man,” witness Simon Parry, 44, told the Associated Press. “A lot of police vehicles came very quickly and were very quick to evacuate the area.”
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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was inside the offices connected to the residence at the time of the incident.
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London police closed Whitehall, a main thoroughfare connecting many of the city’s popular monuments and tourist attractions, immediately after the incident. Officers soon reopened the road to the public.
The incident comes roughly a month after President Biden’s visit to Northern Ireland triggered a series of terror threats in the region. Britain’s MI5 intelligence agency raised the terrorism threat level to “severe” in Northern Ireland during Biden’s trip.
The fencing around Downing Street was only put in place in 1989 after members of the Irish Republican Army terror group fired three mortars into the avenue, with one landing in the backyard of the prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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