LONDON • Prime Minister David Cameron led sombre tributes yesterday on the 10th anniversary of attacks that killed 56 people in London, the first suicide bombings by Islamist militants in western Europe.
Relatives of the victims, survivors and senior politicians gathered to remember those killed in the July 7, 2005 bombings with emotions still raw after a massacre in Tunisia last month, Britain's worst loss of life in a militant assault since the London attacks.
"Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to be as real as it is deadly - the murder of 30 innocent Britons while holidaying in Tunisia is a brutal reminder of that fact. But we will never be cowed by terrorism," Mr Cameron said in a statement.
In the early hours of July 7 a decade ago, four young British Muslims travelled into London where they detonated homemade bombs hidden in rucksacks on three underground trains and a bus during the morning rush hour.
Inspired by Al-Qaeda, they killed themselves and 52 other people and wounded around 700 others. Citizens from Poland, Israel,
TERRORISM STILL A THREAT
Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to be as real as it is deadly - the murder of 30 innocent Britons while holidaying in Tunisia is a brutal reminder of that fact. But we will never be cowed by terrorism.
MR DAVID CAMERON, on last month's massacre at a beach resort in Tunisia
Australia, France, Italy, Afghanistan, Nigeria and New Zealand, as well as a Vietnamese-American, were among the victims.
Mr Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson stood silently, heads bowed, before laying a wreath at the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park at 8.50am, the time the first of four bombs was detonated on the city's transport system.
Later they joined other senior figures, victims' families, survivors and members of the emergency services caught up in the bombings for a service of remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral.
Among them was the London mayor at the time, Mr Ken Livingstone, who was in Singapore on that day for the announcement that London had been chosen to host the 2012 Olympics. The euphoria in Britain generated by that decision lasted only a few hours until the bombs went off.
Four candles were carried into the centre of the cathedral, each named for one of the bombing sites: Edgware Road tube station, Tavistock Square, King's Cross and Aldgate. Each was carried by a person involved in the rescue operation after the incidents.
After the names of every victim were read out, a national minute of silence extended across the city and the nation.
Tube train announcements paused, traffic stopped and the Wimbledon tennis championships came to a standstill.
Petals fluttered down from inside the dome of St Paul's as the period of silence ended.
A further service later at the memorial site for survivors and relatives was attended by Prince William, Queen Elizabeth's grandson.
Ms Esther Hyman, 46, whose sister Miriam was killed on the No. 30 bus when it was blown up at Tavistock Square, said many young people seemed unaware of the bombings.
"The events of 7/7 do seem to have slipped out of public consciousness," said Ms Hyman, who last week launched an educational programme to teach school pupils about the attacks and to steer them away from violent extremism.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS