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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 06:47 GMT 07:47 UK
Blair calls emergency security meeting
Armed officer at Heathrow airport
Security measures have been stepped up across the UK
Tony Blair is to meet senior ministers, security chiefs and defence staff to review the emergency measures imposed across Britain in the wake of the US terror attacks.

Immediately after the meeting on Wednesday morning, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will leave for emergency talks with the other European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

Mr Straw told reporters: "This is an event that has not only shaken the world but also tragically has changed the world."

Security steps
Airports on alert
All private planes grounded
No flights over London
Police across UK on alert
Defence facilities across world on alert
Business and finance institutions advised on extra measures
Cooperating with US, EU and other allies on security issues
He said that as a close ally of the United States, Britain had to consider risks to its own security in the wake of the attacks.

Restrictions have been placed on UK airspace with private planes banned from flying and no flights allowed over London.

All government buildings, military bases and financial institutions have been placed on red alert and British people abroad have been advised to take extra precautions over their personal safety.

Several buildings in the City of London were evacuated on Tuesday, including the stock exchange.

Extra police officers have been drafted in and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens said "all necessary precautions" were being taken to prevent similar attacks in the UK.

Further security measures

Mr Blair is keen to see a co-ordinated international response to the outrages.

He spoke on Tuesday night to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, French President Jacques Chirac, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and Russian President Vladimir Putin about how to respond to terror attacks.

At 0800BST on Wednesday, he will reconvene a meeting of the cabinet's Civil Contingencies Committee (CCC) which will examine whether further security procedures need to be put in place.

Mr Straw, Home Secretary David Blunkett, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce will all attend the summit, as well as intelligence chiefs from MI5 and MI6.

World Trade Centre on fire
Hijacked planes crashed into World Trade Center
At the Brussels meeting later, the agenda is likely to include discussions on how the EU could help the US Government cope with the atrocities, as well as common security measures for Europe.

The ministers are also expected to condemn the attacks and offer their support in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Disruption warning

Mr Blair has warned members of the public that some disruption is inevitable but appealed for people to be understanding.

No transatlantic flights will take place on Wednesday between the UK and the US.

The Foreign Office has issued a warning to Britons overseas to be on alert for possible "heightened tension and disruption worldwide."

All British nationals overseas should exercise caution and avoid situations where there might be tension

Foreign Office
"All British nationals overseas should exercise caution and avoid situations where there might be tension and stay in touch with fast moving events.

"There may be demonstrations and violence, particularly in Muslim countries."

It also warned there was a "strong risk of further atrocities" in the US.

On Tuesday, Mr Blair pledged that the UK would stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" with the US in tracking down those responsible for the attacks.

"We will not rest until this evil is driven from this world."

Emergency number
For Britons worried about friends and relatives in the US: 020 7008 0000
Mr Blair said: "This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world today.

"It is perpetrated by fanatics who have no respect for the sanctity or value of human life and we, the democracies of this world, must come together to defeat it and eradicate it."

An emergency number for Britons worried about friends and relatives has also been issued: 020 7008 0000.

See also:

11 Sep 01 | Scotland
Rescuers on US stand-by
11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair condemns terrorist 'evil'
11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair's statement in full
11 Sep 01 | UK
UK buildings evacuated
11 Sep 01 | Americas
Could the planes have been stopped?
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