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The BBC's Samantha Simmonds
"Scotland Yard.....said no warning was received"
 real 56k

Head of anti-terrorism branch, Alan Fry
"Sufficient to cause injury or even death"
 real 56k

The BBC's Alva McNicol
"Police asked staff to be extremely vigilant"
 real 56k

Sunday, 6 May, 2001, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
'Anniversary motive' for London blasts
Emergency services at blast scene
Hendon has been bombed for the second time in weeks
Police investigating the latest bomb attack on London say it may have been carried out to mark the 20th anniversary of a republican hunger striker's death.

A passer-by was slightly injured when a small device exploded in the early hours of Sunday, outside a postal sorting office in west Hendon.

The head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch, Deputy Commissioner Alan Fry, said his officers had been aware of the potential for an attack to mark the death of Bobby Sands.

"We identify anniversary dates and we take the necessary precautions," he said.

Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands died after 66 days on hunger strike
An attack on the same sorting office in north London three weeks ago was believed to be the work of dissident republican group, the Real IRA.

Mr Fry said the blast on 14 April could have been carried out to mark the 85th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising at Dublin's General Post Office.

He continued: "Clearly the 20th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands is another significant date in the republican calendar and may have motivated this morning's attack."

Sands was the first of 10 men to die on hunger strike in the Maze prison, near Belfast, as republican prisoners fought for political status.

Dissident attacks: London
June 2000: Hammersmith Bridge
July 2000: Ealing Broadway
Sept 2000: MI6 (Suspected, no warning given)
Mar 2001: BBC Television Centre
Apr 2001: Hendon postal office
The 27-year-old died in the prison hospital on 5 May 1981 after 66 days without food and has long been seen as a martyr by republicans.

On Saturday commemorations were held throughout Ireland to mark the anniversary.

Sunday's explosion comes after a year of terror attacks in the capital which have been blamed on the Real IRA.

A bomb rocked the BBC's Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush in the early hours of 4 March.

The blast came three days after the 20th anniversary of Sands beginning his hunger strike.

But it has also been linked to the screening of a BBC Panorama investigation on the Omagh bombing.

Other incidents include a rocket attack on MI6's headquarters and an explosion on Hammersmith Bridge.

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