Urban guerrillas struck at the heart of London, Thursday (8 March), with two car bombings that left one man dead and scores o others injured.
Urban guerrillas struck at the heart of London, Thursday (8 March), with two car bombings that left one man dead and scores o others injured. The bombs exploded at London's central criminal court and in the Whitehall complex o government buildings, leaving a trail of wreckage.
The explosions followed the discovery of a massive car bomb outside Metropolitan Police Headquarters in the morning, and a warning that more were planted in busy city streets. This bomb, which contained over a hundred-and-seventy pounds of explosives, and another device found in a car less than a mile away, were safely defused.
There has been no evidence of ho was responsible for the bombs, but police believe it could have been the Irish Republican Army -- Thursday was the day northern Ireland held a referendum to decide its future with the Irish Republic to the south.
British Prime Minister Edward Heath met with the new Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, Liam Cosgrave, for previously scheduled talks. Following the meeting, Mr. Heath commanded on the bomb attacks. a transcript of Mr. Heath's remarks follows:
SYNOPSIS: Bomb explosions in the centre of London, Thursday, sent fear through the streets of the British capital. This blast in the Whitehall complex of government buildings occurred outside the Army Recruiting Office.
Police had to deal with sightseers who persisted in taking a look at the scene, and hampered rescue efforts. A number of people were trapped in the cars and buildings that lined the street. But warning of the blast had been given, so injuries were reduced. A damaged gasmain that threatens further explosions, slowed rescue operations.
The damage was extensive to cars in the street. The car which carried the bomb disintegrated. Police gathered as many pieces as they could for laboratory analysis.
The bomb explosion at London's criminal court, the Old Bailey, left one man dead and over a hundred-and fifty people injured. Most of the injured were hit by the cascade of glass that poured from this office block, across the street from the law courts. a telephone warning had been given, but there was not enough time for people to clear the area. A number of buildings were severely damaged.
The other car bombs were found by police, and defused. There was no immediate evidence as to who was responsible for the bombs, but police believe that it could have been the Irish Republican Army. The bombings in London coincide with the referendum held in Northern Ireland to decide whether the province should remain in the United Kingdom or unite with the Irish Republic, to the south.
This bomb containing more than a hundred-and-seventy pounds of explosives was found in a car outside the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, and spurred further precautions throughout the city... This car became suspect when someone noticed a small, suspicious looking parcel on the rear seat.
At the entrance to Downing Street, where the Prime Minister's residence is located, all cars were being turned away as a precautionary measure...... The new Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, Mr. Cosgrave, called on Prime Minister Heath. While the bombings were a topic of discussion, the meeting had been scheduled prior to the day's blasts. At the same time that London was suffering the car bombs, a number of explosions hit long beleaguered Belfast and Londonderry, in Northern Ireland.
Forty-four children shaken up in an explosion were visited by Prime Minister Heath. Mr. Heath commented on the bombings.