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50 Killed in Attacks, 22 More in Critical Condition-London

 
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注册时间: 2004-12-25
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帖子发表于: 星期五 七月 08, 2005 9:41 am    发表主题: 50 Killed in Attacks, 22 More in Critical Condition-London 引用并回复

LONDON, July 8 - As the death toll from London's worst day of terror in decades rose above 50, the police said today that emergency workers were still struggling to recover bodies from a vermin-ridden subway tunnel, and commuters struggled to return to familiar routines elsewhere.

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Attacks in Central London

Forum: Attacks in London

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Sergio Dionisio/Associated Press
Londoners returned to work on Friday morning as bus and subway service resumed.
Bombs tore through three subway trains and a red double-decker bus on Thursday morning, and initial police estimates were that 37 people had died. As the toll mounted to include 700 wounded, the attacks - thought to be the work of Islamic terrorists, though no firm evidence has yet emerged - sent fear of a backlash through Britain's Muslim minority.

In the first account of investigators' findings, a senior police officer, Andy Hayman, said that each of the four bombs had contained less than 10 pounds of explosives, small enough to have fit in a backpack. The explosives on the three subway trains had been left on the floor of the cars where they exploded around 100 yards from the stations at King's Cross, Liverpool Street and Edgware Road.

The bomb on the bus, near Russell Square - whose subway station was also an escape route for survivors of the King's Cross bomb - could have been left on the floor or a seat, Mr. Hayman said at a news conference. Some British newspaper reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying they had seen a man on the No. 30 bus fiddling nervously with a bag that then exploded. It was unclear whether that was by accident or design.

The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, said that "we have absolutely nothing to suggest that this was a suicide bomb," adding, however, that "this has all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda, but we are at the beginning of a very complex investigation."

Assistant Commissioner Hayman said rescue workers and investigators were having difficulty getting to the scene of the explosion at King's Cross - where it is now thought that 21 people died - because of "the threat of the tunnel being unsafe" and the presence of "vermin and other dangerous substances being in the air."

The images he evoked were some of the most grisly in the aftermath of the bombings that left Londoners stunned.

"The challenge is now the removal of the dead," another senior police officer, Andy Trotter said, calling the recovery of the unspecified number of corpses a "very difficult task."

Despite the carnage, Prime Minister Tony Blair - who flew back from the Group of 8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, after learning of the attack and then returned there Thursday evening - insisted on pursuing the summit meeting's business today. Flanked by world leaders, who included Presidents Bush, Jacques Chirac of France and Vladimir Putin of Russia, he announced aid packages for both the Palestinian authority and Africa.

"We speak today in the shadow of terrorism, but it will not obscure what we have come here to achieve," Mr. Blair said. "There is no hope in terrorism nor any future for it," he said. "We offer the contrast with the politics of terror."

Although Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed the opinion that the attacks might have been timed to disrupt the meeting of leaders of the Group of Eight nations in Scotland, Britons seemed increasingly inclined to interpret the attacks as a direct result of his support for President Bush in Iraq and America's campaign against terrorism.

"The price for being America's foremost ally, for joining President Bush's Iraq adventure, was always likely to be paid in innocent blood," Max Hastings, a military historian and former newspaper editor, wrote in the anti-government Daily Mail.

"We must acknowledge that by supporting President Bush's extravagances in his ill-named war on terror and ill-justified invasion of Iraq, Blair has ensure that we are in the front line beside the U.S., whether we like it or not," he wrote.

Against that, though, many people sought to invoke the memory of Britain's bulldog wartime spirit, when Londoners grew accustomed to German bombing and confronted it with gritty humor.

Sir Ian, of the Metropolitan Police, spoke of "this wonderful great diverse city" and called London "one united community against atrocity."
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