Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Rush-Hour Terrorist Explosions

On the morning London should've been celebrating winning the 2012 Olympics, a major terrorist attack rips into the rush-hour commuters. At least four explosions, starting at 8:50 AM local time, at Underground stations including Aldgate East, King's Cross, Russell Square, Edgware Road - all central London stations servicing the City, the financial centre - as well as explosions on the buses. The top story of a bus in Tavistock Square was ripped off. The whole Underground and bus system has been stopped. No confirmed casualties yet; a statement from Blair promised in 45 minutes.

Update 11:44 GMT: 2 confirmed dead, 90 injured.

Update 12:07 GMT: PM Blair says he will leave the G8 summit to be in London, says it is "reasonably clear" that this is a terrorist attack aimed to coincide with the Edinburgh summit, saying it is especially "barbaric" that the attack should come at a time when world leaders are meeting to discuss African poverty and global climate change.

Update 12:25 GMT: The German TV stations N24 and Phoenix are reporting that al-Qaeda has admitted to the attacks on an unspecified Islamist website.

Update 12:39 GMT: The casualties increase: CNN reports 10 confirmed dead at King's Cross.

Update 13:33 GMT: In speaking about the attacks, President Bush refers to how, in fighting the terrorists, the free world will spread "an ideology of hope which will overwhelm their ideology of hate."

Update 13:40 GMT: The Mayor of London, "Red Ken" Livingstone, speaking from Singapore (where he has been helping to pitch for the Olympics), makes a sombre, defiant statement saying the attack was directed not at the rich and powerful but at "ordinary people." He says that, no matter how many people they kill, the terrorists cannot win because people will continue to flee from them and come to cities like London to be free.

Update 15:30: Police confirm "at least 33 dead."

No comments: