08 July 2005 18:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--The death toll from Thursday's worst-ever terror attack in London has risen to more than 50 people with 700 injured, but the number of fatalities was not expected to rise dramatically as authorities begin their investigations, Police Commissioner Ian Blair said on Friday.
Blair said the police would do everything they could to track down those who set off the four bombs -- three on underground trains and a bus during yesterday''s morning rush hour.
A report from the New York Times today said the bombs were set off by timers, and not by suicide bombers. The newspaper also cited unnamed US and British officials as saying the device which tore the top off the double-decker bus might have gone off prematurely as it was being carried to another target.
Blair confirmed today that British police had not found anything to suggest suicide bombers had been involved. No arrests have been made so far, but the police said they had "lots and lots of witnesses".
"We have absolutely nothing to suggest that this was a suicide bombing attack although nothing at this stage can be ruled out," he said.
Blair said the victims were not only from Britain but also from Sierra Leone, Australia, Portugal, Poland and China.
In a web statement today, a group claiming links to Al Qaeda warned that Rome could be the next target.
The world's leading economic countries attending the Group of Eight nations (G8)meeting promised today to increase security on public transport networks.
In a joint statement the leaders of the eight countries said: "We will work to improve the sharing of information on the movement of terrorists across international borders, to assess and address the threat to the transportation infrastructure, and to promote best practices for rail and metro security."
The blasts forced a knee jerk reaction on the oil markets as prices dropped $4/tonne but quickly rebounded as traders focused on bullish market fundamentals. Fears of major disruptions to production facilities as a result of the anticipated Hurricane Dennis brought prices back up above the $60/bbl mark today to $60.20/bbl for August Brent and $61.70/bbl for WTI.
Several companies have already shut down their oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico on the hurricane warning while chemical producers in the area were also bracing for the storm.
Chemicals markets were largely unaffected by the blasts while the UK stock market recovered all of its previous day's losses.
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