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1994: Israel's London embassy bombed

VIDEO : Witnesses hear huge bang at Israel's London embassy bombing

A car bomb has exploded outside the Israeli embassy in London injuring 14 people.

The blast, at 1210 BST, caused widespread damage and could be heard over a mile away.

The Israeli Ambassador and British intelligence experts are blaming pro-Iranian extremists, probably linked to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group.

Police are looking for a middle aged woman of Mediterranean appearance who parked a grey Audi 100 next door to the embassy in Kensington.

The car was packed with 20 to 30 pounds of explosives - probably TNT or Semtex - and blew up minutes after the driver left it.

Staff in the embassy emerged dazed and confused, but the worst injury was a broken arm.

People were treated in Charing Cross hospital for cuts, bruises and smoke inhalation.

Woman approached

A police officer and security officer guarding the embassy approached the woman as she left the vehicle. Both were caught in the blast.

As well as destroying the front of the embassy building, the windows were blown out of nearby shops and offices and at Kensington Palace, where Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent were in residence.

Scotland Yard has released a detailed description of the woman they want to question in connection with today's assault and may have security camera footage of her.

The car used for the bombing had been given false number plates.

The attack comes the day after King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met in Washington to declare an end to 46 years of war.

Extremist Islamic resistance to the peace process led to the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, killing 96, on 18 July.

Since then Jewish groups in London have been in consultation with the police and security has been stepped up round Jewish buildings.

In Context
Thirteen hours later, at 0100 BST, another car bomb exploded outside the headquarters of a Jewish charity in north London.

Six people were injured by flying glass and shrapnel from the blast.

After searching addresses in north and west London, five Palestinians were arrested in connection with both bombings in January 1995.

Two Palestinian science graduates - educated in Britain - were found guilty of the bombings at the Old Bailey in December 1996.

In 1997 former MI5 officer David Shayler alleged British security services had prior warning of the embassy bombing and concealed evidence pointing to other culprits.

Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami lost their appeals against their 20-year convictions in November 2001.


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