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Fri 6 May 2011 04:13 PM

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Security services cleared over London 7/7 deaths

Coroner formally rules that 52 victims of suicide bombings were unlawfully killed

Security services cleared over London 7/7 deaths
A view of the bus destroyed by a blast at Tavistock Road July 7 2005 in London. (PHIL LOFTUS/AFP/Getty Images)

A coroner
formally ruled on Friday that the 52 victims of the 2005 London suicide
bombings were unlawfully killed, but cleared the security and rescue
services of any responsibility for the deaths.

Lady Justice Heather Hallett
also ruled out any more inquests or inquiries into the worst-ever
peacetime attacks on British soil.

She
said the evidence presented to inquests over the past 5-1/2 months
"does not justify the conclusion that any failings of any organisation
or individual caused or contributed to the deaths."

All
medical and scientific evidence pointed to the conclusion that none of
the 52 dead would have survived, even if emergency services had got to
them more quickly, she added.

"I'm
satisfied on balance of probabilities that each victim would have died
whatever time the emergency services had arrived," she said.

Hallett said however she was making recommendations which "may save lives" in the future.

Many
of the victims' families had called for a full public inquiry into the
bombings to establish whether the police and domestic security service,
MI5, could have stopped them.

But
Hallett said she believed that the hearings had sufficiently and
painstakingly examined highly sensitive MI5 material relating to the
occasions when the bombers came onto the security agencies' radar before
the attacks.

"To my mind, the
concerns that I would not be able to conduct a thorough and fair
investigation into the security issues in wholly open evidential
proceedings have proved unfounded," she said.

The inquest at London's High Court heard how the victims had been killed during an "unimaginably dreadful wave of horror."

Four
British Islamists - Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22,
Hasib Hussain, 18, and Jermaine Lindsay, 19, - detonated bombs on three
packed underground trains and a bus in the morning rush hour on July 7,
2005.

As well as killing themselves and the 52 others, they injured over 700 people.

The
inquests -- which had to wait until all criminal trials of alleged
associates of the bombers had ended -- were the first public examination
of the blasts and the events leading up to them.

A spokesman for 10 of the 30 families involved said they were satisfied with the proceedings.

"Many
have sat through highly graphic ... accounts of the last moments of
their loved ones' lives and the details surrounding the responses of all
the various emergency services immediately following the explosions,"
he said in a statement.

"Whilst
the sometimes traumatic proceedings will not bring back their loved
ones, all involved have been united in their concern to ensure that the
horror they have had to face is avoided wherever possible in the future.

"They have expressed their satisfaction with the process ..."

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