LONDON: The UK government today vowed to crackdown on recruiters of terrorism, saying all forms of terror need to be stamped out as Britain marked the first anniversary of an ISIS-inspired terror attack on Westminster Bridge, near Parliament.
Last year on March 22, a 52-year-old UK-born Muslim convert Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on the Bridge, over the River Thames in the heart of the London, before fatally stabbing a police officer on guard at New Palace Yard gates of the Palace of Westminster.
Four people were killed and nearly 50 injured in the rampage.
Masood was shot dead by armed police at the scene.
It was followed by two other terror attacks in the British capital, at London Bridge and Finsbury Park mosque in June 2017, taking the death toll to 14 in the attacks.
UK home secretary Amber Rudd, who attended a special service in memory of the five victims of the attack last year at the St Mary Undercroft Chapel in Parliament, said that all forms of terror needed to be stamped out.
Islamists and far-right terrorists share one thing in common - they are united through their adherence to hate.
We need to respond by stamping out those recruiters in the first place, she said.
British MPs observed a minute of silence in the House of Commons at midday (local time), as the service of commemoration took place in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster complex.
British Prime Minister Theresa May laid a wreath of white lilies and roses at Parliament Square, accompanied by a signed note reading: In memory of those who were lost and in defiance of those who would seek to silence our democracy.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan marked the anniversary with the launch of a London United campaign, which will involve #LondonUnited projected on locations of last years terrorist attacks on the city as an act of solidarity.
Londoners will never forget the horrific terror attacks on our city in 2017.
We will never forget the bravery of our emergency services and first responders who ran towards danger while urging the rest of us to run to safety, he said.
The Mayor's office has also organised a digital book of condolence that the public can send messages of solidarity to.
The Book of Hope will become part of a 3D installation in City Hall that will be open to the public until June 19 the anniversary of the Finsbury Park attack.
Meanwhile, colleagues and family members paid tribute to the victims of the Westminster attack.
A colleague of Police Constable Keith Palmer, the officer who was stabbed when he confronted Masood, said he was a "loyal friend", "always happy" and dedicated to his job, his daughter and his wife.
"I do recall the silence. It was very eerie. Not a single movement of traffic, not a horn, not anybody speaking, no shouts, nothing whatsoever. I was then left there with a couple of the original policeman, who by this time were very, very upset because it was their colleague," recalled UK defence minister Tobias Ellwood, who gave mouth-to-mouth to Palmer after the stabbing in an attempt to save his life.
It is believed the barriers outside the Parliament building saved around 25 to 30 lives on the day of the attack, as they forced Masood's car off the pavement and onto the road.
At the end of the barriers he cut back into the pavement and crashed in into the side of Parliament building before stepping out with a knife.