UK on red alert, po­lice hunt ter­ror sus­pects

Bomb in­jures 30; IS claims re­spon­si­bil­ity; 5th at­tack this year Amir con­demns Lon­don at­tack Kuwaitis ‘safe’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

KUWAIT: His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAh­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has ex­pressed his con­dem­na­tion of the ter­ror­ist at­tack on an un­der­ground train in south­west Lon­don. The de­nun­ci­a­tion was con­veyed in two sep­a­rate ca­bles sent to Bri­tain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May.

His High­ness the Amir ex­presses his “con­dem­na­tion and de­nun­ci­a­tion of this crim­i­nal act, which tar­geted the lives of in­no­cent civil­ians, and runs con­trary to all di­vine laws and hu­man val­ues,” read an Amiri Di­wan state­ment. The state­ment, which wished all of those in­jured a “speedy re­cov­ery,” also re­it­er­ated Kuwait’s firm stance in re­jec­tion of ter­ror­ism, and in sup­port of in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to com­bat its scourge. His High­ness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ah­mad AlJaber Al-Sabah and His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Ha­mad AlSabah both sent sim­i­lar ca­bles.

Kuwait Em­bassy in Bri­tain has af­firmed that all Kuwaiti cit­i­zens in the Bri­tish cap­i­tal are safe. The Kuwaiti em­bassy, in a state­ment sent ex­clu­sively to

LON­DON: Bri­tish po­lice ar­rested an 18-year-old man in the port of Dover and raided a house in a small town out­side Lon­don yes­ter­day as they hunted for who­ever planted a bomb on a com­muter train that in­jured 30 peo­ple a day ear­lier. Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May put Bri­tain on the high­est se­cu­rity level of “crit­i­cal” late on Friday, mean­ing an­other at­tack may be im­mi­nent, and de­ployed sol­diers and armed po­lice to strate­gic lo­ca­tions such as nu­clear plants and de­fense sites.

In what au­thor­i­ties called a “very sig­nif­i­cant” devel­op­ment, of­fi­cers ar­rested a man at about 7.50 am in Dover, from where pas­sen­ger fer­ries sail to France. Five hours later, they raided a prop­erty in Sun­bury, a com­muter town south­west of Lon­don, and evac­u­ated nearby premises as a pre­cau­tion. Reuters pho­to­graphs showed po­lice cor­dons in a mod­est sub­ur­ban street in Sun­bury, in the county of Sur­rey, around 11 miles from Par­sons Green where the bomb ex­ploded.

“This is a very sig­nif­i­cant ar­rest. The po­lice have made very good progress but the op­er­a­tion is on­go­ing,” said In­te­rior Min­is­ter Am­ber Rudd, adding that the threat level re­mained at “crit­i­cal”. “There is no doubt that this was a se­ri­ous IED (im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice) and it was good for­tune that it did so lit­tle dam­age.” In what was the fifth ma­jor ter­ror­ism at­tack in Bri­tain this year, the home-made bomb shot flames through a packed com­muter train dur­ing the Friday morn­ing rush hour in west Lon­don but ap­par­ently failed to det­o­nate fully.

The mil­i­tant group Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, the bomb was at­tached to a timer, un­like other re­cent blasts which have typ­i­cally been sui­cide bombs. Pic­tures showed a slightly charred white plas­tic bucket with wires com­ing out of

the top in a su­per­mar­ket shop­ping bag on the floor of a train car­riage. The Par­sons Green sta­tion where the at­tack took place re­opened by yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Armed po­lice pa­trolled the streets of Lon­don near govern­ment de­part­ments in West­min­ster and were guard­ing Premier League soc­cer grounds host­ing matches yes­ter­day, in­clud­ing the na­tional sta­dium at Wem­b­ley. Cres­sida Dick, Bri­tain’s top po­lice of­fi­cer, sought to re­as­sure the pub­lic as she joined col­leagues pa­trolling the en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict on the south bank of the Thames. “Yes­ter­day we saw a cow­ardly and in­dis­crim­i­nate at­tack which could have re­sulted in many lives be­ing lost,” she said. “Lon­don has not stopped af­ter other ter­ri­ble at­tacks and it will not stop af­ter this one.”

Crit­i­cal threat level

The last time Bri­tain was put on “crit­i­cal” alert was af­ter a sui­cide bomber killed 22 peo­ple at a con­cert by the Amer­i­can singer Ari­ana Grande in Manch­ester in May. The threat level re­mained at the high­est set­ting for four days while po­lice raced to es­tab­lish if the man had worked alone or with the help of oth­ers. Prior to that it had not been trig­gered since 2007. Prime Min­is­ter May said the pub­lic should not be alarmed by armed of­fi­cers on the streets, a rare sight in Bri­tain.

“This is a pro­por­tion­ate and sen­si­ble step which will pro­vide ex­tra re­as­sur­ance and pro­tec­tion while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­gresses,” she said in a tele­vised state­ment late on Friday. The bomb struck as pas­sen­gers were trav­el­ling to the cen­tre of the Bri­tish cap­i­tal. Some suf­fered burns and oth­ers were in­jured in a stam­pede to es­cape from the sta­tion, one of the above-ground stops on the Un­der­ground net­work. Health of­fi­cials said none was thought to be in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

“I was on the 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,” Ola Fayank­innu said. “There were phones, hats, bags all over the place and when I looked back I saw a bag with flames.” Is­lamic State has claimed other at­tacks in Bri­tain this year, in­clud­ing two in Lon­don and the Manch­ester pop con­cert. Western in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials have ques­tioned sim­i­lar claims in the past, say­ing that while Is­lamic State’s ji­hadist ide­ol­ogy may have in­spired some at­tack­ers, there is scant ev­i­dence that it has or­ches­trated at­tacks. — Reuters

LON­DON: A handout pic­ture shows a white con­tainer burn­ing in­side a Lon­don Un­der­ground tube car­riage at Par­sons Green un­der­ground tube sta­tion. More than 20 pas­sen­gers were in­jured, some suf­fer­ing se­vere burns, in an early morn­ing ex­plo­sion on a Lon­don Un­der­ground train in what po­lice de­scribed as a ‘ter­ror­ist’ in­ci­dent. —AFP

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