THE aftermath of the four bombs which exploded in London on 7 July continued to dominate the news in Britain and, to some extent, in the rest of the world. The bombers were identified and found to have been living in Leeds where their families and all who knew them expressed astonishment that they had been involved in Islamic terrorism. More than 50 people died in the blasts and some 700 were injured. The government and most representative bodies made strenuous efforts to avoid blaming Muslims in general for the atrocity. The Queen visited the injured in hospital and in a show of defiance travelled in an open car down the Mall as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. A two–minute silence was observed on 14 July and at a vigil in Trafalgar Square attended by thousands of people the leader of the Muslim Concil of Great Britain, Iqbal Sacranie, was warmly applauded before he could speak. Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, said “You see the world gathered in one city, living in harmony, as an example to all.” In Parliament Mr Tony Blair was praised by all sides for the government's handling of the bombings and there was agreement that new security legislation should be discussed by the party leaders before being put before the House of Commons. When asked whether identity cards would have prevented the bombings, Mr Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said, “I doubt that it would have made a difference”. Some 10'000 American Air Force personnel based in Suffolk were ordered not to enter the London area but the instruction was withdrawn when the media reported it. The BBC cancelled the radio broadcast of John Buchan's thriller Greenmantle in which Richard Hannay foils an Islamicist plot against the West; Buchan wrote the story in 1916. The Egyptian ambassador to Iraq was murdered by the al-Qa'eda gang that had captured him in Baghdad. At the end of the week three British soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the south-east of the country, bringing to almost 100 the number of British servicemen killed in Iraq.


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