UPDATE 2:51 p.m. EDT: British Prime Minister David Cameron said there are "strong indications" that the beheading was a terrorist attack. Cameron's office said he is convening what is known as a Cobra meeting -- an emergency committee formed to address national security incidents, according to Reuters.
UPDATE 2:18 p.m. EDT: Shocking video has surfaced showing a man holding two knives and what appears to be blood on his hands explaining that the attack is justified (the clip has been deleted from YouTube, but you can view it above.) There's been no confirmation that the man in the video is one of two suspects responsible for the machete attack on the soldier.
A soldier was killed and possibly beheaded in a machete attack Wednesday in London by two men who were later shot by police.
While Nick Raynsford, a local member of Parliament, said the man killed by the machete was a soldier, London police would not confirm that detail, the BBC reported. A witness said the dead man was wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt.
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The bizarre attack unfolded Wednesday in Woolwich, in southeast London, and was committed by two men, according to the BBC. The suspects reportedly uttered “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) during the assault and dumped the man’s lifeless body onto the middle of a London street.
An eyewitness told a local radio station of the attackers, “These two guys were crazed … just animals.”
Officers shot the suspects, who were taken to the hospital. One of them was in serious condition. Police did not get into detail about the victim’s death, but multiple news outlets reported that the man was beheaded in the machete attack.
Simon Letchford, commander of the London Metropolitan Police, gave the following statement on the machete incident:
“A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm.
“Officers including local Greenwich officers arrived at the scene. Shortly afterwards firearms officers arrived at the scene. On their arrival at the scene they found a man, who was later pronounced dead. At this early stage I am unable to provide any further information about the man who has died.
“Two men, who we believe from early reports to have been carrying weapons, were shot by police. They were taken to separate London hospitals. They are receiving treatment for their injuries.”
Eyewitness Mark Barnsley told the Telegraph that a car carrying the two attackers was swerving before the men got out armed with machetes.
"I didn't know if they were machetes or bats at first, but then I saw they were knives,” the 49-year-old taxi driver told the publication. "Some people were panicking, as you would when people start swinging machetes around. It's pretty shocking."
Another witness, Shane Webb, described seeing the dead victim and witnessing the suspects being shot by police.
"As I was watching a police car pulled up and two cops got out. They both just raised their guns and fired. There were about five or six shots very fast and one of the black guys just went down. I don't know if he was dead or not, but he just collapsed, just went down,” he said. "They were firing at both of them and I think the other was hit as well, but I couldn't see that very well."
Here's a video showing the aftermath of the attack: