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TERRORIST BOMBINGS Death toll hits 52; experts ID first victims



Published: Tue, July 12, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The city's mayor refuses to let terrorists change London's way of life.

LONDON (AP) -- Police raised the death toll in London's terrorist bombings to 52 Monday as forensics experts identified the first of the victims -- a 53-year-old mother of two from outside London. Prime Minister Tony Blair promised a "vigorous and intense" manhunt for the attackers.

As workers searched the twisted wreckage for more bodies, millions of Londoners rode subways and buses to and from work, tense but intent on resuming their routines four days after the strikes.

"We won't let a small group of terrorists change the way we live," London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, said defiantly.

In a somber address to the House of Commons, his first since Thursday's attacks, Blair said it seemed probable that Islamic extremists were responsible for what he denounced as a "murderous carnage of the innocent."

No specific intelligence could have prevented the strikes, he said.

"Our country will not be defeated by such terror," he told lawmakers. "We will pursue those responsible wherever they are and will not rest until they are identified and ... brought to justice."

President Bush expressed solidarity with Britain on Monday, saying, "America will not retreat in the face of terrorists and murderers."

Feeling the loss

Officials raised the confirmed death toll, which had stood at 49, to 52 as workers searched for corpses in mangled subway cars marooned in a hot, dusty, rat-infested tunnel and warned that the body count likely would climb.

"That will rise," Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair said outside the King's Cross station near the site of the worst of the four bombings -- an explosion that killed at least 21 people on one of the Underground's deepest lines.

"They still have to get underneath the carriages, and it is possible they will find more" bodies, he said.

Two other subway trains and a double-decker bus also were destroyed in the attacks, which wounded 700 people. Fifty-six remained hospitalized Monday, many in critical condition, officials said.

Police announced they had identified the first of the victims -- Susan Levy, 53, of Hertfordshire outside London. Forensics experts have warned it could take days or weeks to put names to the bodies, many of which were blown apart and would have to be identified through dental records or DNA analysis.

"We are all devastated by our loss," said her husband, Harry, a London taxi driver.

London's University College initially said one of its cleaning service employees, whom it identified as Gladys Wundowa, 51, also was among the dead. But later, the college said Wundowa remained missing.




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