DETECTIVES from the Anti-Terrorist Squad were last night investigating four firebombs, targeted at three London tourist attractions, which detonated early yesterday, writes Terry Kirby.
Although no claim for responsibility had been made last night, they were believed to have been the work of the IRA. It was the first time important tourist venues had been attacked, and could be a new development in the current campaign.
The first device was found at Madame Tussaud's waxworks just after 1am. Firefighters were called to a small fire in the Chamber of Horrors, which damaged a number of exhibits. As they dealt with the blaze another device exploded in the auditorium of the London Planetarium next door. No fire started, but some seating was damaged.
A few minutes later, a small fire broke out in the basement of the Imperial War Museum in south London, near a display of First World War trenches. It was put out by staff before the fire brigade arrived. Two devices were found.
Later, Robert Key, the national heritage minister, visited and scene and said that if the IRA was to blame, it was part of an 'old pattern of causing maximum disruption'.
'It hasn't worked anywhere else and it won't work here.'