sareini: default ("We're Fucked!")
The phrase "The innocent have nothing to fear from the law" is currently under review...

Remember the man shot dead on a Tube train in London yesterday? The one shot five times in the head?

He wasn't connected to the London bombings.


You know, I was only joking when I said that I hoped he wasn't a just a fare dodger or something like that... Now it looks like he was - or was involved in something only slightly dodgy, otherwise why would he have run from the police, especially after they had challenged him? - and the Met have one hell of a lot of questions to answer.

Then again, can we really blame the police involved for acting as they did? London was on a heightened state of alert, everyone was on edge, and then this guy, who appeared to have something to do with a house under surveillence, spots the police and decides to leg it. Onto a Tube train.

Yes, there'll be an investigation over this. Yes, someone might lose their job over this. Yes, it's a terrible tragedy and illustrates why all our police in this country don't carry guns, just those specially trained to do so. But at the same time, I think the police acted in the only way they could at the time, with the limited information they had.

Maybe we'll even learn something from this.
sareini: default (Bubba Ho Tep)
Well, nothing's blown up so far, but there have been several places getting cordoned off throughout London (mainly Tube stations, but also a Mosque in Whitechapel). The biggest news of the day so far has to be the man at Stockwell Tube Station who was shot dead by armed police this morning.

Apparently the man a) might have been wearing a bomb belt, and b) may have been one of the bomb suspects from yesterday - the one who tried to blow up the Oval. Either way, he was dumb enough to run from police during this time of heightened tensions, so he probably had done something wrong. It sounds strange to say it, but hopefully he was a potential terrorist, because otherwise the police are going to have a hell of a lot of explaining to do, considering they shot him five times in the head...

I know something of the way the minds of armed police work too (my brother went through the training to be one at one point, although in the end he was 'binned' because he was too good a shot and reacted to movement and not threat, which would have lead to rather a lot of dead civilians), and considering that, during a drugs raid once, one of them took it upon himself to recite Jules' speech from the beginning of Pulp Fiction - "...and I shall strike thee down with great anger..." - I wouldn't be at all surprised if at least one of the ones involved in this morning's shooting had to fight the urge to turn to the other passengers, gesture to the dead body, and say, "No ticket."

But anyway. These latest attacks (or attempted attacks) are much more... dare I say incompetant? Yes I do... than the ones two weeks ago. Mainly because in all cases yesterday, only the detonators actually went off. These latest bombs must have been pretty shoddily-made.

More news as important stuff happens.
sareini: ('everything is true')
Exactly two weeks after the first attacks, it's happened again.

Two trains and a bus suffer bomb attacks

Thankfully, these were nowhere near the scale of the July 7 attacks (only one person was injured, and the explosions were minor), but of course it means that London spent the afternoon in chaos again.

They're being linked with the July 7 attacks, but I for one hope that it's just some stupid copycat group, because I don't want to see the racist backlash against all the innocent British Muslims who are getting caught up in this. Some hope, huh?

Hopefully this isn't going to be the start of a prolonged campaign against London (or the United Kingdom in general), aiming to cause disruption and chaos rather than large numbers of casualties.
sareini: ('everything is true')
A few things here; trying to catch up over the last few days.

Cut because this got long... )
sareini: (cat)
Well, the death toll is now 50+ (they can't be more specific because there's still an unknown number of bodies stuck in the Picadilly Line at King's Cross), with a total of 13 people alone dying in the bus explosion. This makes me slightly sad, because when it was announced that only two people had died on Thursday it seemed so miraculous that so many had survived, considering the scenario.

The most painful thing to watch at the moment are all the people searching for their loved ones who haven't been seen since Thursday and were known to be in the area of the blasts. The problem there is that, in the initial moments after the blast, the emergency services and people treating the injured were really only interested in just that - treating the injured. So no names were taken from anyone, no details, because there just wasn't the time. now, of course, as things have calmed down, people searching for the missing are finding it especially difficult because of that lack of initial records taken. It's not really anyone's fault, but it's easy to see how frustrating that must be for people searching for loved ones.

One thing I'm finding strange. I'm normally pretty ambivilent about being English/British, but the way that the country has pulled together over this, picked itself up, dusted itself down, raised two fingers at the terrorists and gotten on with life, is making me feel pretty proud for once. The terrorists' aim was to create fear and terror (obviously), but they only managed that for a couple of hours. Even as everything was still unfolding on Thursday, people were heading from the bomb sites to work. They didn't even manage to shut down the transport systems for one day, as things were getting back to normal by late Thursday afternoon.

The stoicism of the British people is pretty cool :).
sareini: default (Default)
The current toll is 38 dead and around 700 injured. Nearly all of those deaths came from the explosions on the tube trains - in a miraculous turn of events, only two people died when the bus blew up.

London is already getting back to normal as well. They had already managed to reopen parts of the tube and gotten the buses running again by the end of the day. The stock market plumetted a bit in the morning, but rallied itself by afternoon.

With copious cups of tea (or ice cream in my case) and a stubborn determination that got us through the Blitz and several decades of IRA attacks, we're finding our centre of balance again and getting on with things. Oh, and gallows humour. Which hasn't been appreciated by everyone online, it seems, but it what's getting many people through the day.

From [ profile] metaquotes:

Many years ago, an elderly Londoner was asked by a news crew to give his reaction to the latest bomb outrage committed by the IRA. What would he say to those who carried out this atrocity, they wanted to know. Being of the generation that had lived through the Blitz in WW2, his comment was

"Fuck you, we have been bombed by professionals!"
sareini: default (Default)
A bit of rumour control...

There has been a story going round some internet sites that a suicide bomber was shot dead in Canary Wharf. Since BBC News has made no mention of that in the psat two hours since I first read about it, I think we can safely say that one's a false alarm.

A couple of people have suggested that the attacks were aiming for President Bush, who's in the UK for the G8 conference. Since he's in Scotland at the moment, if that was the case then the perpetrators have pretty crappy aim.

As far as I am aware (again from BBC News), they haven't confirmed that a message on an Islamic website claiming responsibility is genuine and/or from Al Qaida. There has also been no confirmation that the message contained threats to Denmark and Italy. While most people appear to be assumeing that Al Qaida is responsible, it's still all up in the air.

ETA: Ok, BBC News now have the text of the statement up here.
sareini: default (Default)
Well, the magic words have been brought into the equation: Al-Qaida. Whether they're actually the ones responsible for this is yet to be seen, but I guess it was only a matter of time before they got brought up.

Tony Blair is coming back for the afternoon from the G8 to speak to people organising the relief/rescue efforts. While I don't normally have too much sympathy for our PM, I have to admit that the poor sod looked absoutely ashen when he made his statement. This is something he's always worried about happening to the capital.

The police report that there were a total of seven explosions, on the Tube and on that bus in Tavistock Place (and the latest photo of it shows that it got absolutely shredded), and a Tube train full of passengers is still trapped at King's Cross. Paramedics are doing a major rescue operation at the moment.

Also saw some pictures of wounded arriving at one of the London hospitals earlier; one man in torn clothes and with a bandage covering almost the whole of his face, and another blood-splattered and battered-looking man getting CPR as he was wheeled out of the ambulance.

I'm expecting that they're going to find some bombs that didn't go off, quite possibly on buses. After all, it made sense to attack buses after an attack on the Tube; when the Underground closes down, buses are used to transport people away from the area or to act as 'rail replacement' services. They would have been (and were) packed full of commuters. And buses are a lot more difficult to keep secure.
sareini: default (Default)
There has been a report, so far unconfirmed, of an explosion at Houndsditch, near King's Cross. Also unconfirmed (by the BBC, which is what I'm watching anyway) are the reports of up to 20 dead.

Police have reported that they're having to make 'controlled explosions' in the Tavistock Place area (that's where the first bus exploded).

All buses in Central London have now been suspended, and there are reports that Shepherd's Bush is being evacuated.

There have also been reports that the railway stations in Swindon and Brighton have been evacuated, due to 'security incident's.

This whole thing started at 8:49 am. I woke up at 8:49 am.

It makes sense that someone would plan something for today, if they were so inclined. After all, not only was London celebrating winning the Olympic bid yesterday, but all the security forces would be concentrating on the G8 summit up in Scotland. While our security in general is nothing to sniff at, we weren't exactly looking at London.
sareini: default (Default)
Update on the situation in London:

At least one bus in central London has been blown up, outside the BMA (British Medical Association) building in Russell Square. Apparently there is blood splattered on the walls of the building.

The top deck of this bus no longer exists. There is at least one fatality.

This on top of the several explosions on the Underground.

I guess it's official: We're under attack.

More news as I get it (I'm typing this in the living room, with BBC News 24 on in the background).


Jul. 7th, 2005 09:55 am
sareini: default (Cenobite)
Something's going on in the London Underground...

Explosion at Liverpool Street Station

...and apparently King's Cross and Aldgate

As a result, the entire Underground network has been shut down, which will in turn pretty much bring London to a halt. Early reports are blaming 'power surges'.

I just can't help but think this is all terribly ironic timing after London won the bid for the 2012 Olympics yesterday...

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