British Police open fire as vehicle rams Ukraine embassy car in London; no injuries

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Shots fired by police in London’s Holland Park after the vehicle rammed Ukrainian embassy says officers were ‘forced to open fire’ after ambassador’s car hit

LONDON (Reuters) – Police in London opened fire outside the Ukrainian embassy on Saturday after a man rammed his vehicle into the ambassador’s empty parked car at least twice before being arrested, officials said.

No one was hurt in the incident, which happened early on Saturday outside the embassy building in the affluent Holland Park area of west London, and it was not being treated as terrorism, police said in a statement.

The embassy said in a statement that the ambassador’s empty official vehicle had been deliberately rammed as it sat parked in front of the building.

“The police were called immediately, and the suspect’s vehicle was blocked up,” it added.

“Nevertheless, despite the police actions, the attacker hit the ambassador’s car again. In response, the police were forced to open fire on the perpetrator’s vehicle.”

TV footage later showed a silver car slewed across the cordoned-off road with its driver’s door open and a window shattered.

Police said they had been called at around 9.50 am on Saturday to reports of a car having hit several vehicles in the road.

“On arrival at the scene, a vehicle was driven at police officers,” they added in a statement. “Police firearms and Taser were discharged, the vehicle was stopped and a man, aged in his 40s, was arrested.”

The man was taken to hospital as a precaution but was not injured, they added.

The ambassador, , was not believed to be at Natalia Galibarenkothe embassy at the time and the embassy said no other staff were injured.

Ch Supt Andy Walker, from the Met’s specialist firearms command, said: “As is standard procedure, an investigation is now ongoing into the discharge of a police firearm during this incident.

“While this takes place, I would like to pay tribute to the officers involved this morning who responded swiftly to this incident and put themselves in harm’s way, as they do every day, to keep the people of London safe.”

The incident is not being treated as terrorist-related, while the Directorate of Professional Standards has been notified of the incident

Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Helen Popper

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