Casualties mount after London terror blasts

Eyewitness accounts of the London explosions

Images of the aftermath of the explosions

Leaders' statements on the London attacks

THE TOLL of dead and injured continued to rise from the devasting rush-hour terrorist attack on London this morning.

The worst terrestial bomb attack in modern British history left more than 33 people dead, including 21 near King's Cross station, following a series of co-ordinated explosions on the city's Underground and bus transport system. Officials say more than 300 were injured, of which 45 were listed in a serious or critical condition.

Scotland Yard has issued the following casualty hotline number: 0870 1566 344.

• London was rocked by four explosions over the course of an hour. The blasts included three attacks on the Tube system - between Aldgate and Liverpool Street, between Russell Square and Kings Cross, and at Edgware Road station - and on a bus at Upper Woburn Square.

- The police said that the first blast, at 8:51am on a train near Liverpool Street station, left seven people dead.

- The next attack, at 8:56am between King's Cross and Russell Square, killed 21 people.

- Five were left dead by the 9:17am blast at Edgware Road station. The explosion blew a hole through a wall, hitting another train and possibly a third carriage.

- In addition, there were an unknown number of fatalities caused by an explosion on a double-decker bus at Upper Woburn Square at 9:47am. The scale of that blast was demonstrated by the fact that the front of the British Medical Association building, near the scene, was splattered with blood to a height of around 15 feet.

A Scotland Yard official said traces of explosives had so far been found at two of the blast sites. Police said it was too early to tell if the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.

• Today's attacks are believed to be the worst on British soil since the Second World War. Previously, the Northern Ireland car bombing in Omagh killed 29 people in 1998. Of course, the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed all 259 people aboard and another 11 on the ground. (Sixty-seven Britons died in the attacks in America on September 11, 2001.)

• Approximately 350 people were treated in hospitals across London. University College Hospital treated at least 58 people; Royal London Hospital treated more than 200, including 16 who are listed in either critical or seerious condition; St Mary's Hospital, which is some 200 yards from Edgware Road Tube station, treated 36 people, of whom six are in a critical condition; Royal Free Hospital treated at least 55 people, of whom 10 had serious injuries; Guys and St Thomas hospital had eight casualties.

• The entire Tube system, used by three million people a day, was closed while bus services in the centre of London were halted to treat the injured. By late afternoon, the transport network of trains and buses were resuming service, however the Tube still remained shut.

• A grim-looking Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, speaking at 10 Downing Street this evening, promised there would be the "most intense police and security service action to make sure we bring those responsible to justice." Blair left the G8 summit at Gleneagles, Perthshire, after the morning attacks. He is expected to return to the summit to resume hosting the leaders of the three-day session.

"There will be time to talk later about this, but it is important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civlised nations throughout the world," the Prime Minister said.

• According to a claim on the Al-Qal’ah website, the Secret Organisation Group of al Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe claimed responsibility for the attacks. The message said: "The heroic mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters."

Paul Wilkinson, a terrorism expert from St Andrews University, said: "It is quite clear that a major terrorist attack has been carried out on London. The attack has all the trademarks of the al Qaeda network," he said

Brian Paddick, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, told reporters: The "information I have is there was no intelligence in our possession of these attacks" and "we were given no warning by any organisation that is was going to happen." Paddick was replying to a question from a journalist on whether the Isreali embassy in London was given advance warning of these attacks.

• Metropolitan Police officers in Scotland for the G8 summit are being urgently redeployed to London. The officer in charge of G8 policing during this week's gathering of world leaders at Gleneagles said many of the 1,500 Met officers north of the border are heading back south. A special force of 12,000 officers has been created from across Scotland, England and Wales to police the summit.

The G8 gathering had prompted fears of a terrorist spectacular. The scale of the explosions and the disruption it has caused London's transport network is bound to provoke comparisons with the al Qaida attacks on the Madrid railway network in 2004 when 191 people were killed and 1,500 wounded.

• Rudolph Giuliani, the mayor of New York at the time of the September 11, 2001, attacks, was visiting London at the time of today's attacks. "I was right near Liverpool (Street) station when the first bombing took place, so I could hear the sirens and then kept hearing reports of different bombing, in different parts of the city." He called the today's events an "eerie reminder" of 9/11.

• Some of the 70,000 workers at Canary Wharf in London's Docklands were allowed to leave early because of the inevitable travel problems caused by the explosions. Millions of people who work in the capital face difficult journeys home tonight and many booked into hotels.

• The London Stock Exchange was sharply lower on the news. The FTSE 100 index tumbled by as much as 4 per cent by late morning but recovered to finish down 1.4 per cent at 5158.3.

Useful links

Eyewitness accounts of the London explosions

Images of the aftermath of the explosions

Wikipedia, Wikinews and Flickr provide "citizen journalism" accounts and pictures of the attacks.

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