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More Than 30 British Nationals Killed in Bali Bombing - 2002-10-14


Britain has said more than 30 of its citizens are dead or missing in the suspected terrorist bombing on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the explosion Saturday is probably the work of Islamic extremists.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is denouncing the attack as a terrorist outrage that requires a united front to defend civilized values.

Mr. Blair's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said there is a high probability that Islamic extremists are behind the attack. "What this appalling terrorist outrage shows is that the fight against terrorism is one that has to go on. The whole of the civilized world is vulnerable to this kind of unspeakable terrorist atrocity," Mr. Straw said.

Mr. Straw spoke before departing for Washington to discuss the Iraq crisis and the war on terrorism with Secretary of State Colin Powell.

At London's Heathrow airport, there were tearful family reunions Monday as British tourists who escaped the blast began coming home from Bali.

At the same time, a team from Britain's Scotland Yard police force was heading to Indonesia to assist in the investigation.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the Indonesian defense minister blames the al-Qaida terrorist network.

A London-based Muslim cleric with suspected ties to Islamic extremists told Reuters news agency that al-Qaida is definitely involved.

The cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, is wanted on terrorism charges in Yemen, and the United States suspects he has links to al-Qaida's founder, Osama bin Laden.

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