22 in­jured as home-made bomb det­o­nates at London tube sta­tion

Of­fi­cials say bomber in­flu­enced by ISIS

DNA (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE -

London: A home-made bomb on a packed rush-hour com­muter train in London en­gulfed a car­riage in flames and in­jured 22 peo­ple on Fri­day in Bri­tain’s fifth ma­jor ter­ror­ism in­ci­dent this year, but ap­par­ently failed to fully ex­plode.

Pas­sen­gers head­ing into the Bri­tish cap­i­tal fled in panic af­ter the blast as the train was about to de­part Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion in West London at 8.20 am.

Some suf­fered burns and oth­ers were in­jured in the stam­pede that en­sued but health of­fi­cials said none were thought to be in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion. “We now as­sess that this was a det­o­na­tion of an im­pro­vised explosive de­vice,” Bri­tain’s top counter-ter­ror­ism of­fi­cer Mark Row­ley said.

Po­lice said a hunt in­volv­ing hundreds of de­tec­tives backed by the in­tel­li­gence ser­vices was un­der­way to find out who was re­spon­si­ble. Row­ley de­clined to say if the sus­pected bomber had been on the train, say­ing it was a live in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

How­ever, a cor­re­spon­dent for a Bri­tish news chan­nel said on Twit­ter that Bri­tish se­cu­rity ser­vices have iden­ti­fied a sus­pect with the aid of CCTV footage.

Bri­tain’s threat level re­mained on its sec­ond-high­est rank of se­vere fol­low­ing the “cow­ardly at­tack” in­tended to cause sig­nif­i­cant harm, said Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May. She added the threat level would be kept un­der re­view.

Pic­tures from the scene show a slightly-charred white bucket with a su­per­mar­ket freezer bag on the floor of a train car­riage.

The bucket, still in­tact, was in flames and there ap­peared to be wires com­ing out of the top.

“I was on sec­ond car­riage from the back. I just heard a kind of whoosh. I looked up and saw the whole car­riage en­gulfed in flames mak­ing its way to­wards me,” said Ola Fayank­innu, who was on the train. “There were phones, hats, bags all over the place and when I looked back I saw a bag with flames.”

Ter­ri­fied pas­sen­gers fled, fear­ing a sec­ond ex­plo­sion or a gun­man, with peo­ple be­ing knocked to the ground and crushed in the stam­pede to es­cape.

Par­sons Green is one of the sur­face sta­tions of London’s un­der­ground net­work.

SPEC­U­LA­TION UN­HELP­FUL

“Another at­tack in London by a loser ter­ror­ist,” U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said on Twit­ter. “These are sick and de­mented peo­ple who were in the sights of Scot­land Yard. Must be proac­tive!”

May, who chaired a meet­ing of Bri­tain’s emer­gency re­sponse com­mit­tee, said po­lice and se­cu­rity ser­vices were work­ing to track down those re­spon­si­ble. Re­spond­ing to Trump’s tweet, she said: “I never think it’s help­ful for any­body to spec­u­late on what is an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

A U.S. law en­force­ment of­fi­cial and a U.S. in­tel­li­gence source, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, said the at­tack might well have been car­ried out in re­sponse to re­cent Is­lamic State video mes­sages urg­ing would-be mil­i­tants to at­tack trains and other pub­lic trans­port.One of the of­fi­cials said the de­vice “doesn’t look very professionally built” and said its rudi­men­tary de­sign sug­gested the at­tack was car­ried out by some­one in­spired by Is­lamic State pro­pa­ganda rather than by a well­trained cell.

—REUTERS

An in­jured woman is led away at Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion in London

—REUTERS

Emer­gency ser­vices in place af­ter the blast in London

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