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Terror attacks linked with G8, says Blair

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Gleneagles, Scotland, July 7, IRNA
UK Blasts-G8 Summit

Prime Minister Tony Blair announced Thursday that he would be temporarily interrupting his attendance at the G8 summit at Gleneagles in Scotland to assess the situation following a series of terrorist attacks in London.

Speaking at an emergency press conference at the summit, Blair said the bombing were "clearly designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8."
"It is particularly barbaric this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa and the long term problems of climate change and the environment," he said.

It was his intention to leave the G8 for London in the afternoon to get reports on the situation before returning back to the remote Scottish village of Gleneagles later on Thursday evening.

The British premier said that all the G8 leaders wanted the meeting to continue in his absence so "that we should continue to discuss the issues that we are discussing and reach the conclusions that we were going to reach."
Home Secretary Charles Clarke confirmed that Blair was being kept fully informed of the attacks in London. He also told MPs that he had chaired a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee to discuss the situation.

Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair said there was a "well rehearsed and sophisticated emergency plan" to deal with the incidents but urged Londoners to remain calm and avoid travelling.

"Transport across London is going to be very difficult so we want people to stay where they are," the commissioner said in an interview with Sky News.

There was no immediate word from the British monarch, who hosted a ceremonial dinner for the G8 leaders in Gleneagles on Wednesday night, but reports said that security had been stepped at Buckingham Palace in London in reaction to the blasts.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams was also expected to make a statement later Thursday afternoon.

According to PA News, Scotland Yard was said to have called the security officer at the Israeli Embassy in London before the explosions to say that there had warnings possible attacks.

In all, it is believed that there were at least six explosions of London's underground network and at least one on a bus that brought the capital's transport system to a halt. It was reported that there were scores of casualties, including several fatalities.


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