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UK Marks 10th Anniversary Of 7/7 Bombings

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People across the UK paid respects to the dead and injured during a one minute silence to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London. A special memorial service was held at Hyde Park, while businesses, shops, and even buses closed or stopped to adhere to the tribute. A service in St Paul’s Cathedral was also held ten years to the day after the worst terrorist attack on British soil since the Lockerbie disaster in 1988.

Security experts and the government also used the opportunity to raise issues of security and to look at how things have changed in the ten years since that tragic day while security for events like the Wimbledon tennis tournament were increased amid fears that a similar attack might be launched. MI5 warned that one of the greatest threats now posed comes from home-grown terrorists while security forces were warned to look out for automatic weapons, such as the one that was used during the Tunisia attack last month, in which 30 Britons and 8 others were killed.

On 7th July 2005, four men exploded devices on Buses and other public transport vehicles, killing a total of 52 people and injuring more than 700 more. The attack had a devastating effect on those that were involved and their families, while the whole country underwent considerable changes to their daily lives as a result. Additional powers were granted to the police and groups investigating terrorist attacks, while increased security levels meant that people on flights suffered extended security checks and endured additional restrictions on the items that they could or could not take on planes.

Over time, some of these security measures were removed or reduced, but the recent spate of attacks around the world by the Islamic State group, the concern over so-called home grown terrorists, and other terrorist attacks taking place in European countries close to home have seen security levels increase once more, and a number of controversial security measures introduced or mooted by the government.

One of the most recent terrorist attacks concerning British citizens was that in Tunisia. On 26th June, a local Tunisian man Seifeddine Rezgui arrived on the beach at the popular resort of Port El Kantaoui, north of Sousse. After shooting indiscriminately at tourists on sun loungers, the gunman then proceeded to nearby Hotel Imperial Marhaba which is known for being popular with British tourists. Some reports suggest that he threw grenades as well as using his Kalashnikov rifle to kill tourists here before fleeing. Eventually, Rezgui was shot dead by local police.

In total, Rezgui killed 38 people, 30 of whom have been confirmed as British tourists, and although the Islamic State claimed responsibility, there is some debate over whether he really was a member of IS or another group, with the terrorist group only trying to take advantage of the situation to try and further their own cause. Rezgui was a student of electronics and was unknown to security services prior to the attack.
 
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