London attack: Death toll rises to eight after body believed to be French tourist Xavier Thomas recovered from Thames

He is thought to have been struck by the terrorists' van and thrown into the river

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The Independent Online

The death toll from the London Bridge terror attack has risen to eight after detectives searching for French national recovered a body from the Thames near Limehouse.

Xavier Thomas, 45, is thought to have been struck by the terrorists’ van on the bridge and witnesses reported him being thrown into the water.

The body was recovered near Limehouse, downstream of London Bridge, at around 7.45pm on Tuesday by specialist officers from the marine police unit.

His next of kin have been informed, Scotland Yard said.

It comes as the siblings of a 39-year-old banker said their brother was one of the eight people killed in the attack.

Ignacio Echeverria was last seen lying on the ground near London Bridge after he confronted the assailants with a skateboard.

His sister Isabel wrote on Facebook: “My brother Ignacio tried to stop some terrorists and lost his life trying to save others.”

Minute's silence on London Bridge for attack victims

Earlier, France said two of its citizens had died when three men drove a van into revellers before going on a stabbing spree in central London on Saturday night.

The foreign ministry said that a third French national was still missing and four were seriously injured.

Le Parisien daily newspaper named the second Frenchman to die in the attack as 36-year-old Sebastian Belanger.

In addition to the eight killed, 48 were injured in the knife and vehicle assault on London Bridge and Borough Market's nearby bars and restaurants. 

James McMullan, 32, from Hackney, Canadian citizen Christine Archibald, 30, Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, 28, and Alexandre Pigeard, 27, have already been named among the dead.

Nathalie Cros Brohan, sister of Mr Thomas's girlfriend Christine Delcros, posted on Facebook on Wednesday morning that the family "fear the worst".

Mr Thomas had been missing since he was caught up in the attack with Ms Delcros.

The couple, who were visiting London for the weekend, were walking south over London Bridge around the time the attack started, according to police.

Ms Delcros was seriously injured by the van, although her condition in hospital has stabilised, her family said.