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Memorial held to mark 20th anniversary of London Docklands bombing

A bomb-damaged building at Canary Wharf in London's Docklands after the explosion of an IRA bomb that signalled the end of the ceasefire, 15th February 1996. (Photo by Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A bomb-damaged building at Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands after the explosion of an IRA bomb that signalled the end of the ceasefire 1996 (Photo: Getty Images)

WHITE doves were released over the London Docklands yesterday to mark 20 years since an IRA bomb killed two men in the capital’s financial district.

Families of the victims and survivors of the attack, which occurred on February 9, 1996, attended a memorial in Canary Wharf to commemorate the tragedy, which affected the lives of many in London’s East End.

Inam Bashir, 29, and John Jeffries, 31, who was of Irish heritage, were killed immediately in the newsagent in which they worked.

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A total of 39 other people nearby were also injured, when a bomb that was hidden in a parked lorry was detonated near South Quay station.

The Docklands bombing explosion caused over £100million of damage and marked the end of the IRA’s 17-month ceasefire during which Irish, British and American leaders tried to reach a political solution to the troubles in the North of Ireland.

The IRA had issued a warning an hour and a half before the attack, which occurred at 7pm, but the shop where Mr Bashir and Mr Jeffries worked was not evacuated in time.

A multi-faith memorial service was held yesterday close to the site of the bombing, hosted by President of the Docklands Victims Association (DVA) and survivor of the attack, Jonathan Ganesh.

It was also attended by the mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs, former MP Andrew MacKinlay, and representatives for the London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police Service.

The DVA continues its fight for compensation for the relatives and survivors of the explosion, which was caused by semtex supplied to the IRA by Libya’s Gadaffi regime.

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