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Buckingham Palace is reported to be on lockdown after witnesses said a man attacked a police officer with a knife.
Images posted on social media showed a heavy police presence at the scene and a cordon around an area of The Mall in front of the palace.
Two male police officers sustained minor injuries while detaining the suspect on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assaulting a police officer. No one else is reported to have been injured.
Palace guard 'nearly shot' the Queen as she went for a late-night walk
Initial reports suggested the man had been armed with a sword but the Metropolitan Police described the weapon as a knife.
The attack happened minutes after a similar incident in Brussels in which two soldiers on patrol were injured by a man reportedly wielding a machete.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "A man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assault on police.
"The man was stopped this evening at approximately 8.35pm by officers at the Mall outside Buckingham Palace in possession of knife.
"During the course of detaining him, two male police officers suffered minor injuries to their arm.