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Ten years on from 7/7 - ceremonies have been held across London as the city remembers

52 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a series of bombings aimed at London’s transport systems on 7 July, 2005.

7/7 bombings anniversary A wreath laid by the London Ambulance Service in Hyde Park Source: PA/Steve Parsons

Updated 20.10

SERVICES HAVE BEEN held today in London in memory of the 52 people who died in the transport bombings of 2005.

Britons laid flowers at the sites of the suicide bombings and held a nationwide minute of silence for the victims on the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Prime Minister David Cameron led the tributes by placing a wreath at a memorial in Hyde Park and petals were released from the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral during a service there.

7/7 bombings anniversary Boris Johnson and David Cameron laying wreaths at the memorial in Hyde Park Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Hyde Park ceremony began at exactly 8:50am – the time the first of four homegrown jihadists detonated his device on London’s transport system on 7 July, 2005.

“It’s still raw 10 years on,” said Mark, a 40-year-old train driver fighting back tears on the plaza outside King’s Cross train station, near two of the four blast scenes.

“You see things you don’t want to see again. It was horrendous,” he said, adding that he was on duty at the time and was involved in rescue operations.

7/7 bombings anniversary A minute's silence was observed at King's Cross Underground station Source: PA/Chris Radburn

Bouquets of flowers were laid in nearby Tavistock Square, on the spot where one of the bombers detonated his device on a red double-decker bus, killing 13 people.

“Our precious daughter Shyanu. When heaven took our angel back, they left two broken hearts,” read one message left in memory of 30-year-old Shayanuja Parathasangary.

At Russell Square Underground station where a second device was detonated on a train, a tent was erected near the station entrance where mourners could sit and pay a silent tribute.

Spectators at the Wimbledon tennis tournament joined in the minute of silence, as did tourists outside St Paul’s where families of the victims and survivors had gathered.

“Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to be as real as it is deadly,” Cameron said.

The murder of 30 innocent Britons whilst holidaying in Tunisia is a brutal reminder of that fact. But we will never be cowed by terrorism.

7/7 Bombings Anniversary Petals falling from the roof of St Paul's Cathedral during today's memorial service Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Britons were among 38 people killed when a gunman went on the rampage at a popular Tunisian beach resort on 26 June, Britain’s worst terror incident since the 2005 bombings.

In a social media tribute that quickly trended on Twitter, many commuters posted pictures of themselves walking to work as part of a #WalkTogether campaign by leaders of different faiths to honour the victims.

In the past decade, successive governments have strengthened security powers and improved the way the emergency services respond to attacks after criticism of severe delays.

But they are still struggling to address the problem of radicalisation exposed by the bombings, which were carried out not by foreign fighters but by four young men who grew up in Britain and were inspired by Al-Qaeda.

Hundreds of British young people are now flocking to join the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, raising fears that they might return to attack their homeland.

Despite new security measures put in place in recent years, the head of the MI5 domestic intelligence agency, Andrew Parker, warned that the risk remained high.

“Appalling acts are attempted by individuals who have grown up here but decided for whatever twisted reasons to identify their own country as the enemy,” he said in a rare public statement.

The continuing fact that some people, born in the UK, with all the opportunities and freedoms that modern Britain offers, can nonetheless make those sorts of warped choices presents a serious societal and security challenge.

7/7 bombings anniversary A Transport Police officer stops to look at floral tributes at Aldgate underground station Source: PA

For many of those directly affected by the London bombings, the anniversary has brought back painful memories.

David Boyce was a 25-year-old supervisor at Russell Square station and one of the first to witness the carnage.

“There were body parts all over the place and dead bodies lying all over the train,” he told AFP.

Prince William joined the ceremony in Hyde Park where several survivors spoke of their experiences.

Emma Craig, 24, was just a schoolgirl on one of the trains targeted as she made her way to a work experience programme.

“All of us lost our innocence on that day,” she said.

It might not have broken London but it broke some of us.

A day to reflect

The 7/7 bombing, as it is known, saw 52 people killed and hundreds more injured when a series of bombs went off on public transport during a terrorist attack.

7/7 bombings anniversary Source: Edmond Terakopian

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said:

Today is a day to remember and reflect. To remember those whose lives were taken from them, the hundreds of people injured and caught up in the horrific carnage, and all those people whose loved ones never returned home.
It is a time to reflect upon our City, how strongly we came together to stand up to the threat we faced, and to send a message to terrorists that London was, and continues to be, strong, united and vibrant.
For so many of my officers and staff the 7th July 2005 is a day that they too will never forget. A day that doing their duty meant running towards scenes of horror that were unimaginable, not knowing what would face them when they arrived and doing their absolute very best to help.
Their actions, emergency services colleagues and the public were brave, professional and fill me with humility and pride for what they collectively delivered. The hard work continued in the days and weeks that followed.
We will never, ever be complacent. Whilst I hope that we will never need to deliver such a response again, if we do we will be ready.
My thoughts today are with those taken from us, those who were affected, remain affected and with my own men and women who, day-in day-out are here for London.

7/7 bombings anniversary Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Story of a bombing

London Fire Brigade’s Commissioner, Ron Dobson, was the Gold Commander during the bombings.

In a video on the fire service’s website, he said that 7 July “started off like any ordinary day” but “turned into a day I will never forget”.

The site details how the first call on the day came from a member of the public at 8.57am, who said they suspected there had been a gas explosion at Praed Street, close to Edgware Road.

By 9am, more calls had started to come in. (Can’t hear the Soundcloud clip? Click here)


Source: London Fire Brigade/SoundCloud

By 9.05am, fire crew were beginning to suspect that the incident was not a normal one. It was becoming clear that several other incidents were also occurring.

The first fire engines arrived at Kings Cross at 9.13am.

Source: London Fire Brigade/YouTube

At 9.47am, a member of the public called Brigade Control to say that an explosion had occurred on a bus.

This was the final deadly incident on a day when terror gripped the English capital.

To read about how the fire service in London dealt with the events, visit its interactive timeline.

Remembering the dead

7/7 bombings anniversary Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Today, a number of services will take place to mark the anniversary.

Wreaths were laid at the July 7 memorial in Hyde Park by London Mayor Boris Johnson and British Prime Minister David Cameron at 8.50am, the time when the first three explosions rocked the London underground at Russell Square, Edgeware Road and Aldgate.

At 11am, a service will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral to remember those who died.

A minute’s silence will be held at 11.30am, and is expected to be observed on London transport and at Wimbledon.

The BBC reports that commuters are being encouraged to get off the tube or bus a stop early today and take the rest of their journey on foot, in a show of unity and remembrance.

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan and AFP

Read: London 7/7 bomb survivor: ‘There was a thick blackness that was engulfing my whole world’>

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