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Tributes flow for US woman killed in UK

Press AssociationPress Association 4/08/2016

Devastated friends of the American woman stabbed to death in London have paid tribute to the retired special education teacher, hailing her as an "inspiration".

Five people were people also injured, including two Australians, by the man with suspected mental health issues who went on a rampage with a knife.

Darlene Horton was just hours away from returning to home to the small Florida city of Tallahassee with her husband when she was killed on Wednesday night.

Ms Horton's partner, Richard Wagner, a psychology professor at Florida State University (FSU), had been teaching summer classes that had ended that day.

Friends of the couple and their two grown-up children back home in the US have described a "fine family", who played a big role in the university's psychology faculty and were highly regarded within their local community for their philanthropy.

Mr Wagner had been travelling abroad to teach for several years accompanied by his wife, who began her career in education in the 1980s.

Her former colleague told the newspaper Ms Horton had a "vibrant personality" and "loved her students and was eager to do whatever she had to do. She would go beyond the extra mile."

Armed police were called late on Wednesday evening after a 19-year-old Norwegian man of Somali origin began attacking people in London's Russell Square, a park near the site of a 2005 suicide bombing.

Police said there was no evidence the attack was terrorism related.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that two Australians, a man and a woman, received non-life threatening injuries in the attack.

The man, stabbed in the chest, and the woman, stabbed in the back, have both been released from hospital.

An American man and an Israeli woman also suffered stab wounds but have also been released from hospital.

"All of the work we have done so far increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental health issues," London Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said.

"We believe this was a spontaneous attack and that the victims were selected at random."

London counter-terrorism police chiefs have previously warned that Islamic State was seeking to radicalise vulnerable people with mental health issues to carry out attacks.

Islamist militants hit London with coordinated suicide bombings on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people. One of the bombs detonated on a bus close to Russell Square.

Since then, dozens of plots have been foiled and there have been smaller-scale attacks, such as the beheading of an off-duty soldier by militant Islamists in a London street in May 2013.

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