Low-key commemoration five years after London bombings
Low-key ceremonies were to be held Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the July 7, 2005 suicide bombings on three London Underground trains and a bus, which left 52 innocent people dead.
No official events of commemoration are planned, although wreaths will be laid on behalf of Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson at the official memorial to the victims in London's Hyde Park.
Many survivors and relatives of victims will gather for private ceremonies at the sites of the four explosions.
The woman behind one of the enduring images of the attacks, Davinia Turrell, who was pictured clutching a gauze surgical mask to her face in the aftermath of an explosion on an Underground train, has spoken of her ordeal for the first time.
She recalled how the whole left-hand side of her face was engulfed in a ball of fire when one of the suicide bombers detonated a bomb in a crowded morning rush-hour train.
"The train was just pulling out of Edgware Road station," she told London's Evening Standard newspaper.
"I was thinking about the half day's leave from work I had scheduled and that I really should be in work by now.
"Then there was a loud bang and a ball of fire appeared from my left-hand side and seemed to go right round me and then quickly retracted."
Just eight days after suffering the burns, her face bore almost no sign of any damage.
The family of Miriam Hyman, killed by the bomb detonated on a bus, has used funds raised in her memory to set up an eye clinic in India which has already treated 18,000 children.
Her sister Esther Hyman told AFP: "There was a feeling amongst her loved ones that we needed to do something to make sure her life didn't go by unnoticed.
"It seems that her feet did take her -- some would call it the wrong place at the wrong time -- but I've come to believe it's fate playing itself out."
The attacks were carried out by British Muslims as London was still celebrating the decision announced the previous day to award the city the 2012 Olympics.
They were followed two weeks later by an attempt to replicate the bombings but the homemade explosives failed to detonate.
Intelligence services have warned that Britain remains at high risk from Islamist extremists.
© 2010 AFP