IRA Claims London Bus Bomb

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LONDON: The IRA belatedly claimed responsibility for a bomb that ripped apart one of London's trademark double decker buses, killing one person, and sending nine to the hospital. The dead man may have been an IRA operative on his way to plant the device somewhere else. The IRA issued a statement saying it regretted the loss of life, but the blast is evidence that the organization's February 9th bombing of a London office complex was not a fluke. "The cease-fire in England is definitely over," says Time's Barry Hillenbrand. "If the terror campaign does not work in London, it could be expanded to other cities, and the killing between the Unionists and Republicans in Northern Ireland could start again. The situation would be back to where it started before the negotiations began." A renewed bombing onslaught is unlikely to force a British capitulation, says Hillenbrand: "The IRA has misread the situation: it can't push the British back to the negotiating table. Still, the IRA's frustration is understandable. The British Government promised talks in exchange for a cease fire and for 18 months, did essentially nothing."