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London blasts: Three more Nigerians missing

Posted by The Punch on 2005/07/14 | Views: 559 |

London blasts: Three more Nigerians missing


Three more Nigerians are still missing after the July 7 London bomb blasts, the Nigerian High Commission in London has said.

Three more Nigerians are still missing after the July 7 London bomb blasts, the Nigerian High Commission in London has said.

Minister and Head of Information at the High Commission, Mr. Joel Uduegbunam, gave their names as Yinka Ajanaku; Toyin Olanrewaju; and one Ayan.

Uduegbunam told the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone on Wednesday (today) that earlier reports that two Nigerians -Anthony Fatayi-Williams – and Ojara Ikeagwu – died in the blasts was incorrect.

The official who was credited by the NAN on Tuesday as having confirmed the death of Williams and Ikeagwu, said the fact that they have not been found does not mean that they were killed in one of the blasts.

Early on Wednesday, the Police in London unveiled four Britons suspected to have carried out the bombings in which 48 other people were killed and 700 injured.

The Britons of Pakistani stock, according to investigations, travelled to London from Leeds via Luton, to blow up the trains and the bus in four separate explosions, killing themselves in the process.

To mark the bombing, which is exactly one week on Thursday (today), London is to remain silent at noon.

The London Mayor, Mr. Ken Livingstone, urging the people to take to the streets to observe two minutes of silence to remember the victims, said, “London will remember all of those who died last Thursday and show its defiance of those who try to change the character of our city through terror.

“Every bus in the city will stop, businesses will stop, and I want everyone who can, to come out of their workplaces and homes on to the streets of London to remember those who died and to show their complete defiance of the terrorists.”

Buses are to turn off their engines and taxis are also to draw to a halt in a mark of respect for the dead as well as the injured.

London Underground trains, hit in three of the blasts, will continue to run, but the silence will be announced inside the trains.

Several newspapers named two of the dead suspected bombers as Hasib Hussein, 19, and 22-year-old Shehzad Tanweer, who lived in Leeds.

The Daily Mail said Hussein carried the bomb that exploded on a packed double-decker bus in central London, while Tanweer detonated a device on the London Underground near Edgware Road station, to the west of the city.

A friend of Tanweer, who asked not to be named, told the ITV news channel that Tanweer had been in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a group of men as recently as six months ago.

The Daily Mail named the 30-year-old father of one Mohammed Sadique Khan, also from Leeds, as having been responsible for another subway blast near Aldgate station, just east of the city centre.

The Independent newspaper, however, identified the Edgware Road attacker as Eliaz Fiaz, 30, from Dewsbury, a town near Leeds.

All the reports, which cited a variety of intelligence and police sources, said the bombers travelled to London’s central King’s Cross station together by commuter train from Luton, a town just north of the capital.

After a brief and low-key goodbye, they reportedly separated to launch their attacks in Thursday morning’s rush hour.

Police gained vital clues when Hussein’s parents, who knew their son was in London and were unable to contact him by phone after the bombs went off, called the police, The Times said.

Investigators picking through the remains of the devastated bus found a body wearing clothes similar to those Hussein was reported as last wearing, and also noticed that he seemed to have been very close to the blast, prompting suspicions he might be the bomber.

This led to police examining security camera footage from King’s Cross to the spot Hussein and three other young men travelling together, all carrying rucksacks.

British authorities said they were hunting on Wednesday for the masterminds of the bombings as Britons reeled in shock over the news that the attacks were apparently carried out by British-born Muslim suicide bombers.

Some apartments in Leeds were on Tuesday raided by the Police. One of the apartments is believed to be the take off point of the bombers.

Prime Minister, Tony Blair, offered a plan to combat Muslim extremism to include toughening procedures to prevent extremists from entering or staying in Britain while promoting dialogue with moderates.

Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, who is visiting Brussels to confer with his European Union counterparts, said on Wednesday the police were now hunting for accomplices of the bombers who he said, decided “to blow themselves up.”

The uncle of one of the suspected bombers said his family had been “left shattered,” by the news.

Bashir Ahmed, 65, said the family of Tanweer, who recently studied religion in Pakistan, could not accept he was capable of the bombings.

“It wasn’t him. It must have been forces behind him,” he said.

Police looking for the masterminds behind the suspected suicide attacks are believed to be seeking a fifth person, sources told the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The sources said the fifth person was not one of the bombers. The police may appeal for help in tracking him down.

Shahid Malik, Labour MP for Dewsbury, where two homes were raided on Tuesday, told the House of Commons the events represented “the most profound challenge yet faced by the British Muslim community.

“Condemnation is not enough and British Muslims must, and I believe are prepared to, confront the voices of evil head on,” he said.

The Punch, Thursday, July 14, 2005

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