Friday, June 29, 2007

TWO car bombs found in West End


Police say two separate explosive devices have been found in cars parked in London's West End.

The first bomb, made of 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders and nails, was found in a Mercedes outside a night club in Haymarket at 0130BST (0030GMT).

Police say a second device was found in a Mercedes in a car park in Park Lane after it was towed away from Cockspur Street, close to Trafalgar Square.

Both devices were "viable" and "clearly linked", police said.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, said the discovery of the second device was "obviously troubling".

"There was a considerable amount of fuel and gas canisters, as in the first vehicle. There was also a substantial quantity of nails," he said.

Parking ticket

An ambulance crew spotted smoke inside the first metallic green Mercedes by chance after they were called to the Tiger Tiger night club to help a sick person.

Police then defused a bomb inside.

The second device was found in a blue 280E model Mercedes. It was given a parking ticket at 0230BST on Friday after being found illegally parked in Cockspur Street.

The vehicle was then towed to the Park Lane car pound at about 0330BST.

The BBC's Daniel Sandford said police were alerted to it after staff who had heard about the Haymarket bomb noticed a strong smell of petrol coming from it.

Park Lane was closed for much of the afternoon while bomb squad officers checked the vehicle and was eventually reopened at 1930BST.

The Haymarket area remains closed as dozens of officers carry out forensic searches. The first Mercedes is being tested at the Forensics Explosives Laboratory in Kent and the second has now been towed away for examination.

CCTV footage from Haymarket is also being examined and police are believed to be making some progress towards getting an image of the driver.....

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