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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July, 2005, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Police search two 'bomber' cars
Smoke rises after a controlled explosion, early Wednesday, in Luton Station car park
Police carried out controlled explosions on a car
Police forensic experts are continuing to search two cars linked to the men suspected of the London bomb attacks.

Police spent 14 hours dealing with explosive devices found in one of the cars at Luton railway station.

It was removed from the station car park at about 0430 BST on Wednesday. The station has now reopened.

The cars are thought to have been left by the bombers when they travelled into London. The other car had been towed to nearby Leighton Buzzard on Thursday.

Bomb squad detectives carried out 10 controlled explosions on Tuesday and Wednesday to try to make the car safe.

Everybody thought it was a bomb scare to start with
Javed Khan,
Witness in Luton

They said they were targeting specific parts of the car in order to try to limit damage to forensic clues.

Officers worked under floodlights to try to make the car safe. Hundreds of people in the area had to be evacuated.

Luton Central railway station was closed until around 0125 BST, but many commuters were unable to reclaim their vehicles until the suspect car had been removed.

Police believe four men travelled from Luton to London last week to carry out the bombings, and probably died in doing so.

Train disruption

The cars are believed to have been hired in West Yorkshire and driven to Luton station, where three men met up with a fourth suspect.

All four men are said to have been British nationals of Pakistani descent.

A car, believed to be hired by the bombers, is removed
The car was towed away for further examination

A 200-metre cordon went up at the station at 1445 BST on Tuesday.

The areas affected by Tuesday's evacuation included Luton bus station, part of the Luton University campus and some private buildings.

Trains were suspended, causing "serious disruption", a Thameslink spokesman said.

Witness Javed Khan said people did not know why they had been moved out of Luton station until police handed out leaflets explaining what was happening.

"It was quite confusing for the public. Everyone thought it was a bomb scare to start with," Mr Khan told BBC News.

Houses raided

The leaflets explained that police believed the vehicle might be connected to the London bombings, which have claimed at least 52 lives.

"We can only apologise for the inconvenience this has caused everybody but your safety is our priority, which can only be ensured by taking this action," said Deputy Chief Constable Martin Stuart, of Bedfordshire Police.

The Mayor of Luton said Tuesday's events had damaged community relations.

Passengers on the 0748 Thameslink from Luton to Kings Cross
Commuters travel on the bombers' train route

Haji Abid, himself a Muslim, said: "I'm sad and surprised Luton is once again in the spotlight because of terrorism.

"The town is very diverse with many Muslims living here but there are a few who I would not call true Muslims, they are bringing these problems upon us.

"People have been coming to me today fearful, not knowing what is going on around them."

Luton station was closed shortly after Army bomb experts carried out a controlled explosion to gain access to a house in Leeds as part of the hunt for the London bombers.

The unoccupied house was one of six raided in the city.

An anti-terrorist hotline for anyone who might have information for the police has been set up on 0800 789 321.


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