Vol. 5 Num 400 Tue. July 12, 2005  

London gets back to business after blasts
4 mosques hit by arson attacks

Commuters returned to work in London yesterday, the start of the first full week since bombers killed at least 49 people on a bus and subway trains. Many travellers said they would defy the attackers by using public transportation as normal, but some were too afraid and took taxis instead.

"I ... will not let the attacks put me off," said computer consultant Paul Williams, 42, as he prepared to board an underground train in central London. "As far as I am concerned, it is just a normal day at work."

But Ted Wright, chairman of the British Poultry Council, said he was taking a taxi to avoid the subway system. "In light of what has happened, I have decided to take a taxi. It will probably cost an extra six pounds ($10.70), but should hopefully put my wife's mind at rest," he said.

Three bombs that exploded on subway cars and one that ripped apart a bus killed at least 49 people and injured 700 last Thursday.

Scotland Yard said Monday it had identified the first of the victims Susan Levy, 53, of Hertfordshire, outside London. Forensics experts have warned that it could take days or weeks to put names to the bodies, many of which were mangled in the blasts.

Transit officials said the number of passengers using the system Monday morning was back to normal. However, a few sections of the underground rail system affected by the attacks remained closed, and the number of shoppers in central London has fallen by about 25 percent since the attacks, the British media reported.

Mayor Ken Livingstone took the subway to work Monday to send the message that Londoners should "carry on."

"We are going to work. We carry on our lives," he said. "We don't let a small group of terrorists change the way we live."

Meanwhile, four mosques in separate English cities have been damaged slightly by fires set deliberately since London was hit by terrorist bombings, police said Sunday.

Incidents reported by individual police forces included arson attacks on mosques in Leeds, Belvedere, Telford and Birkenhead, which caused "little damage," said Chris Fox, the president of Association of Police Chief Officers.

Two woman sitting in a bus pass by a poster showing the picture of a missing woman following the bomb attacks in London yesterday. London Mayor Ken Livingstone rode the Underground train urging people to "carry on" the normal work yesterday, four days after bomb attacks on the capital's transit system. PHOTO: AFP