London Police Kill Suspect, Arrest Two Others | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 22.07.2005
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London Police Kill Suspect, Arrest Two Others

London police shot and killed a suspected suicide bomber on a Northern Line underground train station on Friday and arrested two others in connection with Thursday's explosions.


Stockwell Station, where a man was shot dead by police

Plainclothes police chased a man in a thick coat through a subway station as shocked travellers looked on. According to eyewitnesses, the man either fell or was pushed to the floor a train car where he shot him to death.

Police said the shooting was "directly linked" to the investigations of the bomb attacks on London's transit system. Reports suggest that the suspect was apparently about to board a train at Stockwell tube station in South London when armed officers shouted a warning to passengers before opening fire.

Metropolitan Police officers are allegedly under 'shoot to kill' orders when confronting suspected suicide bombers who are thought to be on the verge of detonating.

It is still not clear whether the man killed by police at Stockwell station was suspected of involvement in the failed bomb attacks or had been mistaken for someone else.

A spokesman for London's Metropolitain police told Reuters: "The gentleman shot at Stockwell today has yet to be identified so it would be impossible to link him to anything at this stage."

Chaos in station

Passengers reported the man -- described as South Asian --was boarding the train when police ordered the doors to be closed. Witnesses said police chased the man before shooting him. "They pushed him onto the floor and unloaded five shots into him. He's dead," witness Mark Whitby told the BBC.

Polizei schießt auf Selbstmordattentäter Stockwell

Police stand outside Stockwell station, in London, Friday July 22, 2005.

"We were on the Tube and then we suddenly heard someone say 'get out, get out' and then we heard gunshots," said passenger Briony Coetsee. Alistair Drummond, of the London Ambulance Service, said paramedics had been called to the station at 10:10 UTC to remove the suspect's body.

Before getting to the train, the man apparently vaulted over barriers while being chased by the armed police who it is alleged had been trailing him since receiving a tip-off that he was involved in Thursday's attacks.

Witnesses gave sketchy details of the man who some said was of south Asian appearance. The man raised suspicion by wearing a winter coat in the heat of summer. Most witnesses said he wore a backpack -- reminding many of images of the four suicide bombers behind the July 7 attacks.

Arrest made, images released

Later on Friday, two man were arrested in connection with Thursday's explosions. Both are said to be nabbed near Stockwell station, where the man had been shot earlier.

A spokeswoman for London's Metropolitan Police said the first arrest occurred during a search of an address in the Stockwell area. The second was confirmed by a police spokeswoman to Reuters. Details weren't available.

"Officers attended an address in connection with the ongoing
investigation" into attacks staged on Thursday on London Underground trains and a bus.

Videobild vom Attentäter, Yasin Hassan Omar, von der Warren Street

Picture released Friday July 22, 2005, by Scotland Yard of one of four men who police wish to question in connection with the four suspected suicide attacks on three Tube trains and a bus Thursday in London. This image was taken by a CCTV camera at Warren Street - one of the three tube stations involved.

Police issued on Friday closed circuit television images of four men they want to question over the attempted bomb attacks on three Tube trains and a bus in London on Thursday.

Police Commissioner Andy Hayman said anyone who knew who or where the men were should contact police. The bombers fled after detonators went off that failed to ignite explosives.

Continued climate of fear hanging over capital

Whereas commuters were largely defiant after the first attacks that killed 56 people, they betrayed traces of nervousness after Thursday's failed attacks on three Underground subway trains and a double-decker bus.

Nach zweiten Bombenanschlag in London Zeitungsleser

A morning commuter reads the morning headlines onboard the underground after Thursday's bomb attacks plunged the tube networks into chaos in London, Friday July 22, 2005. Investigators searched Friday for fingerprints, DNA and other forensic evidence collected from attacks on three subway trains and a double-decker bus that were hauntingly reminiscent of suicide bombings two weeks ago.

The new reports of further police action regarding possible terrorist activities will do nothing to ease the atmosphere of fear in the English capital.

"Yes, I'm afraid. I always take the Tube (subway) to go to work but now I feel more confident with the bus," said Ehelena Osaki, 24, told AFP in the City financial district. "The bus also is worrying me a bit but you've got to get to work, no? I'm too young to die."

Commuters faced disruption on the sections of London's transport network, with two Underground lines closed and three running a restricted service. Several stations on other lines were also shut down.

Up on street level, buses were running a full service, but diversions were in place near two of the four sites of Thursday's incidents.

Commuters taking alternative transport

David Roberts, 29, who rode a bicycle to work, said that two incidents in as many weeks were "putting fears into people's minds. I wouldn't go in the Underground with my two children. I would fear too much for their safety."

Matthew Kube, 26, who lives in southwest London, said he was using overground suburban trains for most of his journey to work, rather than his usual Underground line. "I'm a little bit upset," he said at Blackfriars station. "It's the first day I feel a bit worried and I chose to take the overground train despite the Tube from Wimbledon. I may avoid the Tube as much as possible, but I'm not sure yet."

Luna Martello, 28, said she still rides double-decker buses, but avoids the back of the upper deck because that is where one of the July 7 bombs, at Tavistock Square in Bloomsbury, central London, went off. "I tend to stand by the driver in the front of the bus, even when there are vacant seats," she said.

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