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    Russian senators link British involvement in Iraq with London tragedy

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    MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti) - Thursday's bloody terrorist attacks in London were directly related to Britain's role in the war in Iraq, a prominent member of the Russian parliament's upper chamber said Friday.

     "The series of explosions in the underground and buses in London are directly connected with Britain's role in the Iraq war," Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the Federation Council's defense and security committee said.

    He referred to similar developments in other anti-terrorist coalition member countries, for example in Spain, adding that citizens of the countries fighting with the United States in Iraq were often abducted in Iraq.

    Ozerov emphasized that the London tragedy had nothing to do with the decision to award the British capital the right to host the 2012 Olympics, which the International Olympics Committee made Wednesday, or with the G8 summit in Scotland. He said it would take at least several months to organize this kind of terrorist attack.

    Yury Sharandin, the chairman of the Federation Council committee on constitutional legislation, echoed his colleague: "The terrorist acts in London once again prove that a broad coalition of states is the only way to counter international terrorism."

    The senator said that although both the executive and legislative branches in Europe understood this, "It is no secret that Europe pursues a policy of double standards on terrorism." He said the Council of Europe had been unable to adopt an international convention on combating terrorism for several years.

    The BBC quoted a police spokesperson as saying the number of those killed in yesterday's terrorist attacks in London had reached 38.

    However, the Associated Press referred to Australian Prime Minister John Howard as saying Friday that his sources had reported 52 dead.

    According to the police spokesman, 35 people had died in explosions in the subway, two in a double-decker blast, and one victims had died later in hospital. At least, seven hundred people were injured.

    The London ambulance service is reported to have provided assistance to 45 seriously injured people, and some of them remain in a critical condition.

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