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Bomb in van explodes at rush hour Tube station

A BOMB exploded next to an Underground station in north London at the height of the rush-hour yesterday evening. The station and surrounding area had been cleared after a warning and there were no reports of injuries.

The bomb, which police said was a small device, went off just after 6pm in the car park outside Woodside Park station in north Finchley.

Commander David Tucker, head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch, said the bomb was planted inside a red Bedford 8cwt van registration PUC 728R. 'This van last changed hands about six weeks ago and police appeal to anyone who can assist with any useful information, particularly sightings of the van and any person connected with it.'

Scotland Yard said that a coded warning was given to the American Associated Press news agency about 45 minutes earlier by a caller who said he was from the IRA. Police evacuated scores of commuters from the station, located in a residential area, and cleared neighbouring roads. Some homes were evacuated, and about 40 children attending evening classes at a synagogue school about 20 yards from the station were led to safety.

The Tube station, situated about a mile from the Inglis Barracks at Mill Hill, where a soldier was killed and nine injured in a bomb explosion in August 1988, was searched for further devices as four crews from the London Fire Brigade stood by.

Three bombs exploded in Belfast yesterday; no one was hurt. In Londonderry, a man had both legs amputated after an IRA 'punishment shooting'. West Yorkshire Police became the third mainland force, after police in London and Manchester, to order armed roadblocks to combat the IRA.