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Friday, 3 August, 2001, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Adams: Stop the bombs
The scene at the bomb site
The bomb site was full of bars and restaurants
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has called on those behind Friday's west London car bomb to stop their campaign as politicians from all sides condemned the blast.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is being kept informed about the explosion near Ealing Broadway railway station early on Friday as he begins his holiday in Mexico.

Far from deflecting us, this barbaric attack should strengthen our resolve to reach agreement

John Reid
Ealing MP
Mr Blair branded the attack "pointless" while Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid said it was a "barbaric" attempt to derail the peace process.

Government sources believe dissident Irish republican group the Real IRA was responsible for the blast.

Crucial timing

The attack comes at a crucial time in the peace process.

Sinn Fein met in the Irish Republic on Friday morning to discuss their response to the British and Irish government's new package to save the peace process.

Speaking after those talks, Gerry Adams said: "Sinn Fein is resolutely opposed to these actions and I want to call upon those who are involved in these actions to stop.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Adams is calling for an end to the attacks

"Any real republican would be involved in trying to build upon the opportunities for peace and justice involved in this process."

John Hume, leader of the nationalist SDLP, said he utterly condemned the attack, which was committed by "enemies of the people of Ireland".

"This bomb was an attack on democracy and an outright attack on the Good Friday Agreement," he continued.

Progress by dialogue

Tony Blair is not giving interviews about the bomb as he does not want to give the activists the satisfaction of his attention.

But earlier his official spokesman said: "He believes violence of any kind is both wrong and pointless.

"His sympathy is with the injured but he believes that the way forward in Northern Ireland can only be through dialogue and that is why the government has put forward its proposals this week and hopes people will consider them in a calm and considered way."

John Reid, Northern Ireland Secretary
Reid: Bombers have no support

The other pro-agreement parties are meeting with Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid in Belfast.

Mr Reid said the latest bombing was another effort to derail the peace process by people defying the clear will of the people of Northern Ireland.

"Far from deflecting us, this barbaric attack should strengthen our resolve to reach agreement.

"No one will understand if we allow the solution that is within our grasp to slip away," he added.

Concessions warning

Conservative shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Andrew Mackay also criticised the attack but raised concerns about the latest peace package.

He told BBC News: "I just hope that what's happened in Ealing Broadway overnight will cause ministers and others to pause and think and realise that they should not make further concessions on security until and unless there is a clear end to violence and real positive movements on decommissioning."

For the Liberal Democrats, Menzies Campbell said the British and Irish governments had "bent over backwards" to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

"Neither the British government, nor the British people, will be intimidated by cowardly acts of this kind," he added.

Ulster Unionist minister Michael McGimpsey said the province was trying to get away from such violence.

"This is not the first time, of course, that dissident republicans have attempted to derail the process," he said.

Residents' fury

The bomb is one of a series of blasts in West London in recent months.

North Ealing MP Stephen Pound, who is a member of the Commons Northern Ireland select committee, said many west London residents felt "cold fury".

He described the first reaction of many, saying: "How dare they bring murder and mayhem to the streets of our city."

The BBC's Kim Barnes
"Politicians from across the spectrum have condemned the attack"
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Andrew Mackay
"I hope there will be more caution now"
The BBC's Mark Mardell
"Mr Blair's thoughts are with the injured"
See also:

03 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Sinn Fein considers peace package
03 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Condemnation over 'barbaric' bombing
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