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Sunday, 5 August, 2001, 01:49 GMT 02:49 UK
'Ticket clue' in hunt for bombers
Ealing
The hunt for evidence is due to continue through Sunday
Police hunting the dissident republican terrorists behind the Ealing bomb have found a bus ticket which could help lead them to the culprits, it is reported.

The ticket - containing a fingerprint believed to belong to a dissident republican - was found near the scene of the BBC bomb blast in March.

It is thought the BBC attackers escaped into central London on a bus after leaving the explosive in a taxi parked outside Television Centre.

The ticket is timed and dated to within an hour of the bomb being planted and was found in a skip full of rubbish from the bus, the Sunday Times reported.

Scotland Yard said it was examining a ticket found after the attack which was "of interest".

'Return to normal'

Police investigating the bomb attack at Ealing say they should have finished their search for forensic evidence by Sunday night.

Two people are still being treated in hospital, for injuries caused by Friday's blast and by flying glass.

Some local businesses have been getting back to work, but much of the area remains closed to the public.

Scotland Yard's Anti-terrorist branch believes there are two Real IRA "cells" operating in southern England, other newspaper reports said.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that detectives were studying footage from cameras along the M40 in the belief the bombers may have travelled to London from the Oxford area.

Click here to see a map of the blast area

Scotland Yard has said that Ealing local authority will decide when the area can be reoccupied, once the forensic search is complete.

Hundreds of security video systems are being examined for signs of the bomber who left the grey Saab 9000 outside busy high street pubs.

Bomb-damaged buildings in Ealing
Some buildings may have to be demolished
The attack - which injured 11 people - has been condemned as a "callous, potentially murderous" crime.

Flooding caused by bomb damage has affected 40 shops in a shopping centre near the blast site.

John Birch, of Ealing Council, said some buildings may have to be demolished due to structural damage.

Some shops and the local cinema have reopened, and 10 weddings have been held at the town's register office, just beyond the cordon.

'Disorganised bombers'

Earlier, former IRA member Sean O'Callaghan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he knows who the bombers are, but dismissed suggestions they may live in west London.

"They don't particularly live anywhere - one of them has been missing from home now for two years.

"It is known that he is very heavily involved in the Real IRA."

Car bomb
Grey Saab 9000 turbo five door
Registration E304 HPY
Possibly parked around 2300BST
Warning given at 2333BST
40kg device was twice size of March's BBC bomb

The bomb - containing up to 40kg of homemade explosive - blew up near Ealing Broadway railway station seconds after midnight on Friday.

It caused widespread damage in a 200m radius minutes before 150 people were about to leave a karaoke night at the nearest pub.

Police have had a good response to public appeals for information about the car used in the attack.

The car, registration E304 HPY, was bought from Assured Car Finance in Green Lanes, Ilford, Essex, on 19 July by a man with a Northern Irish accent.

Detectives say the man was in his thirties, with blond hair and a pock-marked face.

Anyone with information about the man or vehicle is urged to contact police on 0800 789321.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Christine Stewart
"The bomb is said to have left a crater in the street"
The BBC's Stephen Cape
"Police can not rule out that it is a terrorist thumb print"
See also:

03 Aug 01 | UK
Survivors' tales of terror
03 Aug 01 | UK
Blair condemns bombers
02 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents blamed for airport bomb
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