23/03/2017 19:46 GMT

London Attack Trafalgar Square Vigil Sees Thousands Fall Silent In Victims' Memory

'Terrorists in London have never succeeded and never will'.

Tearful Londoners have held a minute’s silence to honour those killed in the Westminster attack, as the city reacted with defiance to an act that meant to inspire fear.

Khalid Masood, 52, drove a 4X4 down Westminster Bridge, injuring many and killing a Spanish teacher and an American tourist before he crashed into parliament, fatally stabbed a police officer and was shot dead.

Five people remain in critical condition and two have life threatening injuries. Police have arrested eight people in connection with the attack.

On Thursday evening, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Acting Met Commissioner Craig Mackey lit candles at Trafalgar Square and addressed thousands who had gathered.

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Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Craig Mackey, Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan light candles at the vigil
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People attend a vigil in Trafalgar Square on Thursday

Khan, who has made “London is open” a personal slogan, had issued an open invite for people to “to come together in solidarity to remember those who have lost their lives, to express sympathy with their families and loved ones and to show the world that we are more committed than ever to the values that we hold dear”.

Mackey, who was visiting parliament at the time of the attack and witnessed it, told the crowd: “Terrorists have tried to tear us apart before... They have never succeeded and never will.”

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Khan read out the names of the three people Masood killed and said: “Our hearts are with them.”

He told the crowd: “Those evil and twisted individuals who tried to destroy our shared way of life will never succeed and we condemn them.

“The victims were people who came from all corners of our world. This is a time to express our gratitude to the heroism of our police officers and emergency services who ran towards danger to help, and at the same time they encouraged others to run for safety.

“London is a great city, full of amazing people from all backgrounds. When Londoners face adversity we always pull together.

“We stand up for our values and show the world we are the greatest city in the world.”

Rudd said PC Keith Palmer, the officer killed in Wednesday’s attack, was “courageous and brave”. 

Hannah Mckay / Reuters
Sadiq Khan addresses the crowd as Amber Rudd looks on

She added: “The terrorists will not defeat us. We will defeat them. We are strong in our values and proud of our country.”

People held bunches of flowers while one group of Muslim men held a banner, saying “love for all, hatred for none”.

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Hannah Mckay / Reuters
People observe the minute's silence
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A baby holds a bunch of flowers at the vigil
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Hannah Mckay / Reuters

PC Palmer was married with a five-year-old daughter. Kurt Cochran, the American tourist who was killed, was visiting London with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. She remains in hospital.

Aysha Frade, a 43-year-old mother-of-two, was killed by Masoon on Westminster Bridge where she was travelling to pick up her children from school.

Masood had a string of convictions spanning from 1983 to 2003 but none was for terrorism and he was not the subject of any active investigation, police said.