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At Least 50 Killed In London Attack

July 8, 2005 12:38 PM
City of London, including Lloyds of London and the Natwest Tower.

City of London

The head of the Metropolitan Police has said that the final death toll for the London bomb attack will be at least 50. Sir Ian Blair said there were a number of bodies still in the Tube train at Russell Square but that the final figure was unlikely to top 100.

He confirmed 700 were injured in the blasts on three Tube trains and a bus during yesterday's morning rush hour.

He vowed to catch the killers, saying his force had an "implacable" resolve to track down those responsible for the blasts.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke told Sky News that no intelligence had been missed and the attacks "came out of the blue" and that it was like looking for "needles in haystacks."

"It certainly was a failure of intelligence in the sense that we didn't know this was coming.

"But by definition when you're looking for needles in haystacks you can miss the needles and the tragedy of yesterday is that we did miss the needles."

A group calling themselves the European al Qaeda have said they were behind the atrocity and Clarke said that ministers were taking the claim seriously.

A massive intelligence investigation is now under way and Sir Ian said that it was "blindingly obvious" that a terrorist cell was operating in Britain.

Talking about the possibility that the bus explosion in Woburn Place had been caused by a suicide bomber, he said there was "absolutely nothing to suggest this was a suicide bomb".

"There is nothing to rule it out. It may have been that or it may have been a bomb left on a seat."

Forensic investigation suggests that each bomb had less than 10 pounds of high explosive and that each device on tube trains was likely to have been on the floor of the carriage. The bus bomb may have been on floor or on seat.

Of the 300 people admitted to hospital on Thursday, about 80 remain, either convalescing after emergency surgery or too badly burned to return home.

Anyone worried about relatives or friends they have not heard from is advised to contact a special police hotline on 0870 156 6344.