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UK MP killing was targeted attack: Police

18 June 2016 12:43

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Police in the UK say the recent brutal murder of a British lawmaker was a “targeted attack,” and that there is no indication that anyone other than the lone assailant may have been involved in the killing.

The victim, Jo Cox, a Labour parliamentarian and an outspoken member of the Remain campaign, which espouses the country’s continued membership in the European Union (EU), was shot and stabbed during a regular public meeting with constituents in Birstall, near Leeds, in northern England on Thursday.

Dee Collins, the temporary chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, said on Friday, “This appears to be an isolated, but targeted attack upon Jo — there is also no indication at this stage that anyone else was involved in the attack.”

“However, we will be investigating how the suspect came to be in possession of an unlawfully-held firearm,” she said.

While attacking the 41-year-old MP, the male assailant reportedly shouted “Britain first,” a trademark slogan of the Brexiters, who seek Britain’s exit from the EU and are campaigning to have the public vote in favor of the exit in a June 23 referendum on the issue.

The suspect, named as Thomas Mair, 52, has been arrested and charged and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

Tributes to Cox have poured in from across Britain’s political spectrum, including by Prime Minister David Cameron.

If it is established that the murder was carried out in support of Brexit, it would mark the height of the already-heated confrontations between the Remain campaigners and the Brexit backers.

The killing has, meanwhile, prompted a suspension of campaigning for the referendum in an apparent move to stop further radicalization.

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