Five shops damaged in firebomb attacks

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The Independent Online
EXTREMISTS within the animal rights movement appear to be responsible for firebomb attacks at five stores in York and Harrogate in North Yorkshire yesterday, writes Malcolm Pithers.

The bombings caused damage put at thousands of pounds and stretched fire crews, partly because the incendiary devices had been timed to explode over a four-hour period. The bombers selected Boots branches in both towns as well as a subsidiary, Fads, a do-it- yourself store. A gunsmith's shop and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop in Harrogate were also attacked.

Yesterday's bombings appear to be almost identical to a series of attacks earlier in the summer. A group called the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for firebombings in Cambridge and Oxford, one of which involved Boots.

In August, there was a series of bombings on the Isle of Wight. Boots was a target again.

Attacks in York have increased recently, with cattle-trucks being destroyed. Yesterday's bombings, however, were the most serious.

York is also significant because the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is about to open its central science laboratories at Sand Hutton, just outside the city.