London attack: Police reveal the knives used to slaughter innocent pedestrians

Bound with black tape, the 12-inch weapons which helped kill and maim revellers were ceramic

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The Independent Online

Pictures of the pink-bladed knives which the London Bridge terrorists used to slaughter innocent pedestrians have been released by police.

Bound with black tape, the 12-inch weapons which helped kill and maim revellers last Saturday were ceramic, possibly so the murderers could avoid metal detectors, investigators believe.

Each of the men carried an identical blade as they inflicted the outrage on Borough Market.

Material tethered to one hilt is shown saturated with blood and was apparently designed so killer Khuram Butt could strap it to his wrist, commander Dean Haydon said.

Petrol bombs were also found littered alongside the van used to run down victims on London Bridge, suggesting the plot was intended to be more destructive.

In an image of the white rented vehicle, at least two of the crude explosives could be seen at the door of the passenger seat, alongside two blow torches.

The flammable liquid was put inside 13 wine bottles, some of which were labelled "Baywood: Fruity Rose", and had rags tied to their lids, Scotland Yard said.

Inside the van, gravel, chairs and a red suitcase can be seen, which detectives believe were props for a cover story the terrorists used to justify the rental to their families.

And strapped to the trio's waists as they leapt from its doors were fake suicide belts, composed of plastic water bottles wrapped in grey duct tape.

Mr Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police's Counter-Terrorism Command, said: "We've been working round the clock to understand what these men did in the lead-up to the attack but we need to know more about these unusual knives.

"Where have they come from? Where might the attackers have bought them from?

"If you know anything about these particular types of knives, please let us know - it could prove a crucial lead in our investigation.

"There were three identical knives - each attacker had one of those in their hand, wrapped with some kind of leather binding.

"The leather binding actually went around the attackers' wrist so in essence it was almost strapped to their wrist.

"It appears to be some kind of kitchen knife, and there is an indication they are ceramic and you could potentially avoid metal detection systems."

Anyone with information can reach police on 0800 789 321 or visit gov.uk/ACT and complete a secure form.

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