Bomb found on London Pride route

Tony Grew June 29, 2007
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A car bomb discovered on the route of tomorrow’s Gay Pride parade in London has been made safe, say police.

The vehicle was parked on Haymarket, in the heart of the city’s West End shopping and theatre district.

Reports of a suspicious vehicle at around 2am led police to what they call a “potentially viable explosive device.”

A controlled explosion was carried out.

It is reported that the vehicle, silver Mercedes, was driving erratically before hitting a bin on Haymarket. The driver fled.

Tens of thousands of LGBT revellers are expected to march down Haymarket tomorrow afternoon as part of London’s Pride celebrations.

However, the area still remains closed and Piccadilly Circus tube station is closed.

A meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee has been called, the first for new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

Defence Secretary Des Browne told the BBC: “It does appear to be a very serious incident.

“My first reaction to this is, thank God that we have police and explosives experts who can make these devices safe, and the arrangements they appear to have done, and that nobody has been injured.”

Police have made no comment on who might be responsible for the car bomb or if there is a link to tomorrow’s parade.

All options, including the possibility that this could be the work of dissident Irish republicans, are being considered.

It is also unclear if a member of the public reported the vehicle as suspicious or whether a tip-off was received.

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