Police deny blame over IRA bomb

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The Independent Online
THREE bombs exploded in London yesterday, two on railway lines and one at a Territorial Army barracks. At least six people were hurt.

Seventeen people have been injured and one killed in thirteen IRA explosions in London this month.

The IRA yesterday accused Scotland Yard of recklessly ignoring warnings about the first bomb, which exploded an hour afterwards, damaging a train and slightly injuring three passengers.

Commander George Churchill- Coleman, head of the anti-terrorist branch, said last night that police had responded as quickly as possible. Before yesterday's explosions there had been 61 warnings using a 'so-called codeword' but there were explosions in only 22 instances.

'It's all part of tactics to make it appear that the police are confused, incompetent and inept. That is not the case,' he said. Radio stations denied an IRA claim that they had received telephoned warnings.

The bomb went off near Silver Street British Rail station, in Edmonton, north London, at 4.40pm. A second bomb went off four hours later outside the Territorial Army barracks on Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, west London. Three people were reported slightly hurt. A third exploded under a bridge on the Metropolitan underground line between South Harrow and Rayners Lane in north-west London. A section of track was destroyed but no casualties were reported.

A Dublin news agency through which authentic bomb warnings are often relayed received an IRA statement at 3.35pm yesterday saying police had ignored earlier messages. The Garda in Dublin was told immediately. It said the warning was passed to the British authorities 'without delay'.

Despite that, no bomb alert was announced until after the blast.

Forty minutes after the IRA's Dublin statement, the British Transport Police said no security alerts were under way. Twenty minutes later the bomb exploded, hitting the passing 4.22 Cheshunt to Liverpool Street train.

The explosion disrupted traffic in north London and services from Euston to the Midlands and the North-west were suspended while police searched for more bombs.

The IRA's Dublin statement said: 'In spite of repeated phone calls to a number of London radio stations, British police have made no effort to act on authenticated warnings that our volunteers have left a bomb on the rail line at Four Bridges, on the North Circular Road, London. This latest incident underlines the reckless policy being pursued by British

officials.'

At Hammersmith, two women and one man were treated for minor injuries after being hurt by flying debris when a bomb planted outside the TA building exploded. The IRA attacked the same target in 1980.

Richard Thurgood, 48, a local resident, said: 'I was watching the football when I heard the bang. It seemed to shake the windows and floors. I knew it was a bomb.'

An IRA car bomb exploded in Bangor, Co Down, last night, causing widespread damage to shops and offices. A police officer was reported injured. The blast was heard 15 miles away.

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