A man has been arrested and pedestrians injured after a car after crashed into security bariers outside the British Houses of Parliament at Westminster in London.
The car left the road and hit into the group before coming to a stop at barriers outside the building at about 7.37am local time.
A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said two pedestrians were treated at the scene for injuries that are not believed to be serious and have been taken to hospital.
A reporter for Britain’s ITV network tweeted that police officers at the scene are advising office workers: “There’s been a terrorist incident, Westminster is in lockdown.”
A massive police response has seen the area closed off and the male driver of the car has been arrested by Scotland Yard.
UK Metropolitan Police have not said why the man was arrested.
The scene has been cordoned off, with the cordon widening as more police, including counter terrorism officers, arrive on the scene.
Several high-value locations exist in Westminster, with many important political premises in the area.
There is a heavy armed police presence outside the building after the car crash.
All entrances to the Houses of Parliament are also in lockdown. No one is allowed in or out.
Those outside have been asked to move back as Parliament Square was closed with dozens of police and emergency vehicles at the scene.
Armed police approached the small silver hatchback as uniformed police moved members of the public back and established a perimeter.
The driver was surrounded by officers and led away from the vehicle in handcuffs.
The arrested man was calmly led away from the scene, while smoke billowed from his car.
British Parliament is in recess, however thousands of government employees continue to work in the Westminster area.
The location is also popular with tourists.
An eyewitness told Sky News he believed the car had “deliberately” driven towards the pedestrians. It is also understood the man hit several cyclists.
Eyewitnesses at the scene said one woman was being treated on the ground, but was awake.
Metropolitan Police confirmed in a tweet that at 7.37am local time a car collided with the barriers outside Parliament.
They also confirmed a number of pedestrains had been injured, and the male driver had been detained at the scene.
“At 0737hrs today, a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. The male driver of the car was detained by officers at the scene,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.
“A number of pedestrians have been injured.
“Officers remain at the scene.
“At this stage, officers do not believe that anybody is in a life-threatening condition,” Metropolitan Police also said in a statement.
“Cordons are in place to assist the investigation.”
Westminster Tube station has been closed and Westminster Square blocked off from the public.
BBC News Political Correspondent Jonathan Blake also tweeted that armed police at the scene told onlookers: “Move back as quick as you can, we’re asking you for a reason.”
Westminster Tube Station is also closed nearby after being evacuated.
The incident evoked memories of terror incidents in London last year, including an attack at nearby Westminster Bridge in March in which 52-year-old Khalid Masood drove a car onto the pavement, killing five people and injuring more 50 people.
In June 2017, eight people were killed and 48 injured when three terrorists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before leaving the van and stabbing dozens of people in nearby bars at Borough Market.
Protective barriers around Westminster Palace were extended in the wake of the 2017 attack.