Belfast Telegraph

Terror victims attend special service, 32 years after Harrod’s car bomb blast

By Sophie Inge

Victims and the families of those killed and injured in the Harrods bombing have attended a service to mark 32 years since the attack.

They were joined at the service - which took place outside the upmarket department store in Knightsbridge, London, on Saturday - by victims of other terrorist atrocities.

On Wednesday, December 17, 1984, the IRA, aided by then Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his regime, detonated a massive car bomb adjacent to Harrods, marking the end of a 17-month ceasefire.

The IRA sent a warning 37 minutes before it exploded, but the area was not evacuated.

Six people were killed - three police officers and three civilians - and 90 were injured, among them 14 police officers. Campaigner William Frazer, of Families Acting For Innocent Relatives (FAIR NI), said victims should not be forgotten.

"It's very important that we remember the innocent victims of terrorism because this is all about re-writing our history," he commented.

"And what happened that day in London is embedded in the minds of the people who were affected by it."

He added: "There are quite a few victims who have come together in the mainland which is encouraging, because victims never used to work together."

Speaking ahead of the service, Susanne Dodd, who was only seven-years-old when her father, Inspector Stephen Dodd (34), died of his injuries days after the bombing, said it was a heartbreaking atrocity. "A day never goes by without me thinking of my poor dad," she said.

"It breaks my heart to think of my dad and all those killed and injured that day."

Ihsan Bashir, whose brother was killed in the 1996 London Docklands Bombing, also attended the service, along with fellow members of the Docklands Victims Association.

He commented: "I lost my brother, Inam. I have tremendous sympathy with all victims of terror. All terrorism is evil as they have taken innocent life."

Shop owner Inam Bashir (29) and employee John Jeffries (31) were killed when the IRA detonated a powerful truck bomb in the Canary Wharf financial district of London on February 9, 1996.

The blast injured 39 others, some permanently, and caused an estimated £150 million worth of damage.

The IRA had sent warnings 90 minutes beforehand but the area was not fully evacuated.

Earlier this year, IRA victims called for compensation from Libya after it emerged the war-torn country has almost £10bn being held in frozen assets in the UK.

US victims of the Lockerbie disaster were paid compensation by Libya, but UK victims suing the country have so far received nothing.

Belfast Telegraph


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