London bombings victims unlawfully killed: inquest

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The 52 victims of the July 7, 2005, London bombings were unlawfully killed, a coroner said Friday as she announced her verdicts following exhaustive inquests into the atrocity.

The ruling was expected but the families of the victims will be listening closely to hear what the coroner, judge Heather Hallett, has to say about whether the security services could have prevented the attacks and what more the emergency services could have done to improve their response.

The attacks on three London Underground trains and a bus killed 52 commuters and were perpetrated by four Islamist suicide bombers, two of whom had made video statements spliced with footage of Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The outcome is all the more poignant following the death of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

Over nearly six months of hearings, some 309 witnesses gave evidence and a further 197 statements were read. The hearings generated 34,000 documents.

© 2011 AFP

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