BREAKING NEWS ~ Blair says it "reasonably clear" London blasts were terror attacks

[JURIST] In a short televised statement, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said it is "reasonably clear" that the multiple London transport system blasts [JURIST report; BBC continuing live audio; BBC in-depth report] earlier Thursday were "terrorist attacks" designed to coincide with the G8 meeting at Gleneagles. The meeting will continue, although Blair will go to London to assess the situation and meet officials before returning later in the day.

7:25 AM ET - A full transcript of the Prime Minister's statement is now available online from the Home Office. BBC News has recorded video.

8:35 AM ET - UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke has made a statement on the London bombings in the House of Commons and has indicated there were at least four attacks:

First, on a tube train between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street; second, on a bus in Woburn Place; third, on a tube train between Russell Sq and Kings Cross and fourth on a tube train at Edgware Road station. As yet we do not know who or which organisations are responsible for these criminal and appalling acts.
Read the full text of Clarke's statement, or view recorded video.

8:40 AM ET - Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, still in Singapore after yesterday's meeting of the International Olympic Committee that awarded the 2012 Games to London, has issued a statement condemning what he called a "cowardly terrorist attack."

9:15 AM ET - BBC Monitoring has picked up an unconfirmed website claim by a previously unknown group calling itself the "Secret Organisation Group of al-Qaeda" claiming responsibility for the London bombings. Read a translation of the Arabic web statement by the BBC.

9:23 AM ET - Further statements on the London attacks are now online from Queen Elizabeth II, US President Bush (currently at the G8), the G8 leaders (as read by Tony Blair before his departure for London), the President of the European Commission, and London-based Amnesty International (condemning the attacks as a "crime against humanity").

9:44 AM ET - AP is reporting that a US law enforcement official, citing British government sources, has said at least 40 people have been killed in the explosions in London. This number has not been publicly confirmed by UK authorities.

10:27 AM ET - UK law enforcement authorities speaking at a press conference have now confirmed 33 fatalities on the London transport system, not including a group of undetermined fatalities on a double-decker bus.

11:19 AM ET - US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has issued a statement on US precautions folowing the London bombings: "We have been in direct communication with officials at the state and local level and with public and private sector transportation officials. We have asked them for increased vigilance and additional security measures for major transit systems." Read the full statement.

Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase:


 

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