Nightly News | May 22, 2013
>>> disturbing story out of london today . fair warning , this is tough to look at, especially when you realize what it is we are looking at. a british soldier in plain clothes ambushed and killed on a city street while his barbaric attackers wait for police to come while they take -- allow people to take video while they vent their message about religion and politics . for reasons you will see, this is now being treated as an act of terrorism. we get our report tonight from nbc 's michelle kosinski in london .
>> step back. move back. move back.
>> reporter: in the middle of the day in the busy working class neighborhood next to an army barracks , near an elementary school , a scene of such raw violence, few could believe it.
>> look at the guy. he's dead now.
>> reporter: people here say a young man who nbc news has confirmed was an active british soldier wearing a charity help for heroes t-shirt was walking along this sidewalk when two men in a car apparently drove into him, then got out and started stabbing him with multiple large knives.
>> they were hacking at this poor guy, chopping him, cutting him.
>> reporter: some eyewitnesses say the victim was decapitated in the attack and the two suspect es then approached people in the horrified crowd.
>> they were telling people to record them doing it.
>> reporter: one made a long political statement, weapons still in his blood-covered hands.
>> we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone.
>> reporter: when police arrived witnesses say the men charged at officers who opened fire. both were hit, now in hospital.
>> small groups deciding to carry out these sorts of attacks is a part of a broader trend we have seen recently. the brutality we are seeing in this one does seem to be a new element we have not seen before.
>> reporter: prime minister david cameron is rushing home from france for an emergency meeting on what exactly this was. whether others could be involved or other attacks planned.
>> there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident.
>> reporter: tonight the two suspects are formally under arrest. the government here is increasing security at army barracks across london . one of the men did indicate they targeted the victim because he was a soldier. michelle kosinski , nbc news, london .