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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
'We must eradicate this evil' says Blair
The scene in Bali
Thirty-three Britons are thought to have died in Bali
Prime Minister Tony Blair has said the world must redouble efforts to deal with international terrorism in the wake of the bombing in Bali.


They are not worried in the least about the numbers of people they kill, about the total innocence of the people they kill

Tony Blair
In a brief statement in Downing Street, Mr Blair expressed his condolences to victims' families.

And he pledged "to do everything we possibly can to bear down on these people and eradicate this evil in our world".

He said it was "important now that we consider what further action we can take at an international level to make sure these groups are dealt with and dealt with properly, before any more innocent lives are lost."

'Appalling depths'

Mr Blair said he would make a statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday on the bombing, which has more than 188 people dead, including as many as 33 Britons.

Mr Blair said the attack was "evidence of the appalling depths to which these extremists will sink".

"They are not worried in the least about the numbers of people they kill, about the total innocence of the people they kill.

"They are not interested in the destruction and devastation they wreak upon whole communities and families who have lost their loved ones."

He said the response of the UK and its "partners in the international community" must be one of "total vigilance and total determination" to take "whatever measures" were necessary to prevent future attacks.

But he added, dealing with extremist groups whose "activities know no boundaries and whose evil knows no limits" was going to be "difficult".

Iraq

In a separate press conference, Home Secretary David Blunkett urged people to continue their normal lives, but said the weekend bombing showed it was important all nations knew they were not "off bounds" to strikes by terrorists.


Global terrorism is not an abstract threat but a grim reality which we must face down and defeat

Iain Duncan Smith
Tory leader

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said the bombing highlighted the folly of allowing Iraq to dominate the global anti-terrorism agenda.

In an earlier statement Mr Blair said: "We have played a full role in the fight against international terrorism since 11 September and will continue to do so to protect the civilised values we hold dear."

Al-Qaeda links?

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the foreign office was "as certain as it can be" that there were 18 British people dead after the explosion in Bali and a further 15 missing who are also believed to be dead.

Mr Straw said four anti-terrorist specialists from Scotland Yard are on their way to Indonesia to help try to identify those responsible and are due in Jakarta shortly.

He said the Bali attack had all the hallmarks of "a vicious evil terrorist organisation" - it could be linked to al-Qaeda but it was too early to say whether that was the case.

Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said: "That groups are prepared to strike at innocent holidaymakers in this indiscriminate way shows that global terrorism is not an abstract threat but a grim reality which we must face down and defeat."

Three-quarters of the 188 killed in the attack on a beach resort nightclub are thought to be Australians.

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said international concentration on the issue of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction threatened to distract attention from the ongoing task of dealing with the al-Qaeda network.

He said: "To focus on Baghdad and Baghdad alone would clearly be a great mistake."

The Foreign Office is urging people to avoid travelling to Indonesia.

Emergency helpline

The device exploded late on Saturday night outside a crowded nightclub in the resort of Kuta which is popular with foreign tourists.

Survivors described a scene of bloody devastation after the blast as people tried to flee the fire and collapsed buildings.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the US embassy in Jakarta recently issued warnings of possible attacks by Islamic militants linked to al-Qaeda.

Helpline numbers
British Consulate: 00 62 361270572
Foreign Office: 0207 0080000

UK tour operators are preparing to fly home some of the 1,000 British tourists who were on Bali, while holiday companies are arranging alternative destinations for holidaymakers booked to visit Indonesia in the coming days.

The 24 hour telephone number set up by the British Consulate in Bali for people anxious about relatives or friends in Kuta is 00 62 361 270 572.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"There are thought to be around 1000 Britons on the holiday island"
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
"This is a desperate, terrible act of terrorism"
British Ambassador to Indonesia Richard Gozney
"We have to be ready for the figure of dead British to rise"

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See also:

21 Sep 02 | Country profiles
12 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
14 Oct 02 | Politics
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