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IRA bombers
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"The ceasefire is over"
IRA bombers blast London
               Children among injured as explosion hits Docklands rail station

The IRA last night appeared to have called off its 18-month ceasefire and re-launched its bombing campaign on the mainland with a huge device near the Canary Wharf development in London's Docklands.

The Irish Republic's RTE television and radio network received a statement saying the ceasefire was over.

The statement said that "with great reluctance", the leadership of the IRA "announces that the complete cessation of military operations will end at six o'clock".

The bomb exploded on the track at South Quay station on the Docklands Light Railway. The station and surrounding buildings had been evacuated about an hour before the bomb went off at 7.02pm.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers were given about an hour's warning before the blast and that there were six casualties, including two children, taken to hospital.

He said: "We were warned about an hour ago that there was a bomb at Canary Wharf. A recognised code word was given. We were getting people ready to react to any possible emergency. Everyone has now been alerted."

Early indications were that no one had died in the bomb, although there were numerous injuries, largely superficial cuts caused by flying glass. Windows were sucked out of buildings more than a quarter of a mile away.

Police immediately started searching for another suspect device in a nearby office development.

The Irish Government was taken by surprise by the IRA statement, which a spokesman said came only from Irish television. "We have no advance warning of this from the normal contacts [ with Sinn Fein ]."

Irish ministers met Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Vice-Presidents Pat Doherty and Martin McGuinness, just 48 hours before the blast in Dublin, and no indication of a ceasefire breakdown was signalled then, a spokesman said.

No formal statement from the Taoiseach, John Bruton, was made for some time after the blast, because a source emphasised Dublin was not yet certain if the explosion was the work of a splinter group or was authorised by the IRA.

Ken Maginnis, security spokesman of the Ulster Unionists, said on Sky Television: "We have been saying for 18 months that the ceasefire was a lull to gain some political advantage".

Terry Walker, who works for a publishing company near South Quay station, said:" We were thrown to the floor and showered with glass. It ripped off the front of the building next to the station. We had been given a warning."

Another eyewitness, Chandra Shah, said: "We were in a pub under the station. It damaged the roof and shattered the glass atrium. I'm shocked because I thought the bombings were over. Somebody in a uniform mentioned the IRA. It was a hell of a loud bang and now the police have told us there might be a second device."

Lee Hickinbottom, 23, who works in an office near the station, was also in the Tradewinds pub beneath: "Things were just falling down. Radiators, shelves, glass - we all just ran for cover to the toilets".

Mark Sutton, a bodyguard, said: "I had been training at London Arena, it was unbelievable, it blew the car from side to side. It blew all the windows of Westferry Road right open. I have heard some bombs in my time, but that was bigger than most."

Will Kevans, cartoonist, said: "I saw it from my flat and it looked like the top of the Plaza had been blown off." Tim Hawkins, a freelance photographer, said: "I was just standing there and the roof of the Plaza, the building next to South Quay station, just came right off."

(words 625)

In the first part the reporter states that the IRA appears to have called off its 18 month cease-fire and to have relaunched its bombing on the mainland with a huge device near the Canary Wharf development in London's Dockland.

In the next part the reader is told that the Irish Republic's RTE television and radio network has got a statement that the ceasefire of the IRA will end at six o'clock.

Next we are told that the people in the area have been evacuated, before the bomb goes off at 7.02 p.m. Although everyone has been alerted there are numerous casualties caused by flying glass of windows which are blown off by the explosion more than a quarter of a mile away.

The author goes on with his description of the effects of the blast. People are thrown on the floor, the front of the building next to the station is ripped off, the roof is damaged and the glass atrium is shattered.

We read that another device is suspected in a nearby office development.

Finally the journalist sums up the reaction of the different parties involved in the conflict:

The Irish Government has got no indication of a cease-fire from the normal contacts with Sinn Fein. Dublin is not sure if the explosion is the work of a splinter group or is authorised by the IRA.

The Ulster Unionists call the 18 month cease-fire a lull to gain some political advantage.

As a conclusion the INDEPENDENT states that the cease-fire is over. (words 254)


<Click here and you will always get back to the table of contents>
Table of Contents
Summary:
The Independent:
IRA bombers 
HOMEback to the homepagePAGE back to the previous page back to 
Steps from note-taking to summary
writing: Rebecca's story
go on to
Analysing texts
on to the next page