London Metro.. Soft target for terrorists

New Delhi, Sept 15: An explosion on an underground train at a busy station in southwest London today left several commuters injured in what the Scotland Yard described as a "terrorist incident". 

The incident occurred during rush hour on a District Line Tube train as it pulled into Parsons Green station. 

Several people are said to have suffered facial burns after the blast in a bucket towards the rear of the District Line train. Some commuters reportedly were trampled and suffered crush injuries in the rush to escape. 

Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism squad, SO15, arrived at the scene at Parsons Green Tube station and took the lead in the investigation from the British Transport Police. 

"Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, has declared it a terrorist incident," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

This is not the first time the tube metro is attacked in London. Here we give you a timeline of recent terror attacks in the city.

JULY 7 Bombings 

July 7, 2005: Fifty-two people were killed and more than 700 injured when a series of four co-ordinated suicide attacks struck central London.

According to a report in "News.com.au", Three bombs exploded on Underground trains between Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations, Russell Square and King’s Cross St. Pancras stations and Edgware Road and Paddington stations. A fourth bomb destroyed a double-decker bus at Tavistock Square.

The bombs were detonated by four British Islamist suicide bombers.

JULY 21 Failed Bombings

July 21, 2005: Still reeling from the suicide bomb attacks two weeks earlier, an identical attack was launched on identical targets in London: three Tube trains (Shepherd’s Bush, Warren Street and Oval stations) and a London bus in Shoreditch. Unlike 7/7 however when the terrorists tried to set them off, the detonators ignited but the explosives did not. The four assailants — all born in East Africa who came to the UK in the 1990s — fled and prompted the biggest police manhunt in British history. They were all eventually arrested and given life sentences, with a minimum of 40 years.

Leytonstone tube stabbings

December 5, 2015: Somali-born Muhiddin Mire, 30, launched a knife attack at Leytonstone tube station. He injured musician Lyle Zimmerman, 56, in the ticket hall and threatened four other commuters as he ran amok through the station. Police officers shot Mire with a Taser and arrested him. The minilab driver said he was carrying out the attack for “my Syrian brothers”.

Mire, who had a history of mental illness, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of eight-and-a-half years before being considered for parole. The Metropolitan Police treated the incident as a terrorist attack.

North Greenwich bomb plot

October 20, 2016: Two commuters discovered a backpack on a Jubilee line service. It was handed to the driver, who inspected the backpack and found it contained “wires and an alarm clock”, prompting the evacuation of North Greenwich Underground station. A controlled explosion was carried out on the item, which was made up of “a flask, powder, ball bearings, a clock timing device, a battery and an initiator. No injuries were reported, and a suspect was later detained, who had recently converted to Islam. Police said that the bomb could have caused casualties had it exploded. The media and Government of the day referred to the events as a “lapse of security” and the “most serious incident on the Tube since the 21/7 attempted bombing”. Damon Smith, an autistic teenager from southeast London, was charged over the incident.