Police raid residences in investigation of London blasts

As experts in London continue identifying victims of the London bombings, anti-terrorist police have launched raids on residences searching for those who could be connected to the terrorist attack.

Anti-terrorist police investigating the London bombings swooped on five residences in northern England Tuesday morning. No arrests were immediately reported, says the AP.

News reports said the searches were concentrated on one street in Leeds, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of London. Police would confirm only that the activity was in West Yorkshire.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said the raids were connected to the massive investigation of Thursday's attacks on three subway trains and a bus.

"There have been a series of searches carried out in Yorkshire. Those searches are still going on. There's very little else I can say at the moment, but this activity is directly connected to the outrages on Thursday," Blair said in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Metropolitan Police described the raids as part of an "intelligence-led operation."

According to The Guardian, intelligence and anti-terrorism officials suggested yesterday that a small British-based terrorist cell with the ability to strike again had placed the bombs on the London underground and bus.

"It is more difficult to detect home-grown groups," said one anti-terrorism official. "They are less conspicuous and they don't move around."

"Our track record is that there has scarcely been a terrorist outrage in London for which we have not found people responsible," Prime Minister Tony Blair said in the BBC interview.

"This is much more difficult than Irish republican terrorism, but it is still something the communities of Britain can defeat if they join together."

Mr Blair yesterday denounced the "murderous carnage of the innocent" and confirmed that at least 52 people died in last Thursday’s attacks on the No 30 bus and three Tube trains, reports the Sun.

The final death toll is expected to be higher, with police believed to have assigned family liaison officers to 74 families.

Progress was reported Tuesday in the process of identifying people who may have been directly responsible for one of the four explosions.

The Times said forensic pathologists have been concentrating on the remains of two bodies found in the mangled wreckage of the bus that was destroyed by a bomb blast Thursday. Three other bombs also exploded on subway trains in central London.

Two more victims of the London bombings - Jamie Gordon and Philip Stuart Russell - were identified by their families Tuesday.

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