Police: 150 seriously injured in London blasts

London police gave preliminary data on casualties of London explosions. Some 190 people were being treated at hospitals for injuries, hospital officials said. A senior police official said about 150 were seriously hurt.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick said the figure was based on reports from the London Ambulance Service. Police said there were fatalities but have not confirmed any toll, reports the AP.

Experts are combing through the debris and investigating the scenes of the crimes, everything indicating that these blasts were an organized and coordinated terrorist attack, reports PRAVDA.Ru correspondent Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey from London. Reports have been received from an Islamist group claiming responsibility for the blasts, in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. The group claims to have links with Al Qaeda.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted that the blasts were terrorist attacks, calling them "barbaric", stating that "it's important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people."

According to BBC, mobile networks were running at near capacity as those caught up in the chaos called family and friends. The surge in the number of calls being made meant that many people had trouble getting through first time. Vodafone said it had reserved some network capacity for the emergency service workers dealing with the disaster.

The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 share index tumbled 118 points, or 2.26%, to 5,111. In France, Germany, Holland and Spain indexes all fell more than 2.5%. The pound also dipped, while many investors sought safety in the Swiss franc and commodities such as gold. The price of crude oil dropped in London, reports BBC.

The London Stock Exchange has introduced "special measures" and has asked traders to switch off their "black box" programme trading systems. The systems use algorithms to place huge trades in response to market volatility.

"We are farming out orders to other financial centres, such as Paris because of the uncertainty on the ground in London," said one dealer in London to BBC.

Photo: AP

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