Man charged with US tourist murder after London knife attack

An envelope addressed to 'The family of the American lady' is pictured amongst floral tributes left near a crime scene in London's Russell Square on August 5, 2016 (AFP Photo/Daniel Leal-Olivas) (AFP)

London (AFP) - A man has been charged with the murder of a US tourist after a knife attack in central London earlier this week, police in Britain's capital said Friday.

Zakaria Bulhan, 19, was charged with the murder of 64-year-old Darlene Horton plus five counts of attempted murder following the incident which took place late Wednesday in Russell Square.

The Metropolitan Police added in a statement that he was in custody and would appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London for an initial hearing on Saturday.

Bulhan, of Tooting in south London, is a Norwegian national of Somali origin who moved to Britain in 2002.

Horton was the wife of a professor at Florida State University who had been teaching summer classes in London and was hours away from flying home.

A Briton injured in the attack is still in hospital while a man from the US, an Australian man, an Australian woman and an Israeli woman were released from hospital Thursday after receiving treatment.

The Briton suffered a stab wound to the stomach while the American and Australian men were stabbed in the chest.

The Australian woman was stabbed in the back and the Israeli in the bicep, police said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry described the attack as a "horrific mass stabbing" and said he grieved for the victims.

Russell Square is close to the heart of central London and is a popular location for tourist hotels.

It is close to both the British Museum and the University of London.