Update on London Explosions Host Renee Montagne speaks with Newsweek 's London bureau chief, Stryker McGuire, about the latest on the explosions in London.
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Update on London Explosions

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Update on London Explosions

Update on London Explosions

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

A half-dozen explosions rocked London this morning. The transportation system there was the target. The subway system has been shut down. At least three buses have been destroyed. People have been injured. The numbers aren't clear yet, but it appears to be many people. The explosions coincide with the G8 Summit up in Scotland hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Stryker McGuire is the bureau chief of Newsweek in London and he's on the line right now.

What more can you tell us about these explosions?

Mr. STRYKER McGUIRE (London Bureau Chief, Newsweek): Well, it's--there are a lot of unanswered questions at this point, but I have to say that as the morning went on, it--the situation just looked worse and worse. It started off as a kind of--just a big kind of traffic hassle, and there were reports of power surges on a couple of trains, subway trains. Obviously, we've gotten well beyond that. It looks like there were at least six explosions, obviously coordinated. The--you know, the arrows are pointing very much toward an al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda wanna-be-type attack. That obviously is not at all confirmed and the authorities are being very, very careful about what they're saying. But it is obviously extremely serious and it was--it had to have involved some advance planning, which suggests that it was linked in some fashion to the G8.

MONTAGNE: We are seeing pictures of people emerging from the subway with blood on their faces, hearing reports of people's faces being blackened. What are eyewitnesses saying about the injured?

Mr. McGUIRE: Well, they're saying that's the--I'd have to say at this point, they're--a lot of it--I'm, of course, sitting here at the Newsweek office. We have a number of people out on the street. It's difficult even to communicate with them because the cell phone system is down or at least very, very erratic. But what you get is you get people with lots of cuts, you know, from glass and debris. You have--there have been unconfirmed numbers of fatalities. There hasn't been official confirmation of any fatalities. What there has been official confirmation of is of large numbers of casualties. But even then, large numbers--they're being very careful about specifying what kind of large numbers they're talking about. But as you can imagine, given the timing, given the sort of MO of this, people here are immediately thinking about, you know, what happened in Madrid.

MONTAGNE: Right. Well, Prime Minister Tony Blair has already said that he will not be leaving the G8 conference up in Scotland. He will, though, be speaking in--not too long from now about this explosion. But just simply, is that--that's all we know now.

Mr. McGUIRE: That's all we know. And he--when he speaks, of course, he will be very cognizant of how President Bush responded to 9/11, and he will be cognizant, also, I have to say, of the mistakes that President Aznar made in Madrid at the time of those explosions by blaming it prematurely on another group.

MONTAGNE: Thank you very much. Stryker McGuire is the bureau chief of Newsweek in London.

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