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The BBC's John McIntyre
"There is no evidence that this was the work of Irish terrorists"
 real 56k

The BBC's Tom Hunt
"Scotland Yard say they're keeping an open mind"
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Thursday, 22 February, 2001, 16:21 GMT
TA blast was deliberate attack
TA base in White City
Police sealed off Wood Lane following the explosion
An explosion which seriously injured a 14-year-old cadet at a Territorial Army base in west London was caused by a deliberately planted torch bomb.

The victim, who lost a hand in the explosion, has been named as Stephen Menary.

Scotland Yard said the device - believed to have been disguised as a hand held torch - had been deliberately placed outside the barracks in Shepherd's Bush.

London map
White City: Contains many of the BBC's main offices
Anti-terrorist officers were called to the base off Wood Lane, close to BBC Television Centre, after the blast at 1910GMT on Wednesday.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We cannot rule out the significance of the military venue although at this time there is nothing to suggest that it is related to Irish terrorism or any other known terrorist group."

Police are advising people to be alert to suspicious packages or objects in the wake of the blast - particularly any object that looks like a torch.

There have been no claims of responsibility made to date and police are keeping an open mind regarding the motive.

Serious injuries

The injured cadet is thought to have picked up the device in the street at about 1900 GMT.

Shortly afterwards the device detonated, causing serious injuries to his hands, chest and face.

He is recovering in intensive care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after undergoing surgery overnight.

Scotland Yard said the bomb was aimed to cause serious injury, describing it as "criminal and vicious".

A senior officer at the base told the BBC there were no munitions at the centre, which is the base of the Fourth Battalion Parachute Regiment 10 (London) company.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "If you see a torch or any other suspicious object in the street, please do not touch or move it. Dial 999 immediately.

"We would appeal especially to parents to be alert when out with their children. An object like a torch could easily excite a child's curiosity."

Anybody who can assist police with any information should contact the Anti Terrorist Branch Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321.

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22 Feb 01 | UK
Shock at 'ferocious' blast
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