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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 03:01 GMT 04:01 UK
Papers reverberate with shock
Friday's front pages

Bastards, screams a front-page headline in the Daily Star following the bomb attacks in London which killed at least 50 and left 700 injured.

"We will not be broken and we will get justice for the dead of 7/7," says the newspaper's editorial.

"In the name of New York, Washington, Bali, Nairobi, Madrid and now London, we shall have vengeance and justice," says the Sun.

"In the words of Winston Churchill in 1941: never give in, never," it adds.

Sun newspaper

Olympic joy ends

"Britain rose yesterday morning with a spring in its step, buoyed by our Olympic triumph," says the Daily Mail.

"Within hours that confidence had been shattered - the euphoria obliterated," it continues.

"Make no mistake Britain will almost certainly have to sacrifice some of our ancient legal rights if we wish to protect our citizens."

"The contrast between triumph and sudden vulnerability could hardly be greater," remarks the Daily Telegraph.

Iraq link?

"There may be a few people inclined to make a link between the deaths in London and the intervention in Iraq," says an editorial in The Times.

"This is utterly flawed thinking," it continues.

"Al-Qaeda and its subsidiary branches... did not need the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Baghdad as an extra incentive."

"London was attacked because extremists want to ignite a "holy war" between themselves and democratic society."

Political goals

But columnist Robert Fisk, writing in The Independent, disagrees.

"It was crystal clear Britain would be a target ever since Tony Blair decided to join George Bush's "war on terror" and his invasion of Iraq," he writes.

"They" are not trying to destroy "what we hold dear", he says, adding that "we had, as they say, been warned".

"They are trying to get public opinion to force Blair to withdraw from Iraq, from his alliance with the US, and from his adherence to Bush's policies."

Withdraw troops?

"Our involvement in Iraq... will have made us a target for Middle East extremists," says The Express.

"But we must not forget that what we are fighting for there is democracy and freedom from tyranny," it adds.

"This is an attack on the wonderful diversity of British life and culture," concludes the paper.

An Independent leader says although "the invasion of Iraq was a mistake", it would not be right for policy to be determined by "fear of the bomb".

Middle East summit

The Financial Times calls for a global consensus on how to deal with problems of the Middle East.

"An expanded G8 should dedicate a summit to that," the FT suggests.

The meeting should involve Arab leaders "put on notice that despotism - the tyranny that incubates jihadism - is also beyond the pale," it concludes.

We need to "drain what can be drained from the reservoir of grievances from which the terrorists draw strength," writes The Guardian.

Emergency services

"The reaction of the police, medical teams and firefighters was remarkable," says the Daily Mirror.

"Their dedication and courage make the terrorists seem even more despicable.

"This country has a long and proud history of standing firm against aggression. We survived the Blitz. We lived through 30 years of IRA outrages.

"We will defy and defeat today's terrorists, too. Once again the British people will triumph over evil," the newspaper concludes.

British 'self-control'

Front pages across Europe are also devoted to the bombings.

"London plunged into horror" says a headline in France's Le Figaro.

Liberation describes the bombing a "recurring nightmare".

"It is not easy to frighten the British," says Hungary's Nepszabadsag, pointing to our "self-control".

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung says the reaction of Londoners was "remarkable and quite exemplary".

Spanish sympathy

Spanish papers reflect on comparisons between the London attacks and those in Madrid 16 months ago.

El Pais says: "The bombings remind us that our societies have a mortal enemy, fanatical, yet sophisticated and implacable."

El Mundo remarks that information was severely rationed.

But ABC says the British put up with restricted information "for the sake of national security" and adds the bombs would not change UK policy.


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