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Bomb warnings close roads, station, airport in England

SHARE Bomb warnings close roads, station, airport in England

Coded bomb warnings closed highways, a rail station and an airport in England Friday, and an explosion damaged an electric pylon near Birmingham. No injuries were reported.

No one immediately claimed responsibility but the same tactics have been used by the Irish Republican Army several times this month in an election-season campaign of disruption.The explosion that damaged the pylon was one of two blasts reported along the M6 highway in the northwest suburbs of Birmingham, 100 miles northwest of London.

Bomb disposal experts also carried out controlled explosions to disable a suspect device near the pylon and another at Luton airport, 30 miles northwest of London.

"Some of the local schools have been closed and the children are coming home in tears," said Terry Hughes, who lives near the pylon.

"My grandchildren live with me and they came back crying and saying `Grandad, what's going on?' I told them it was those silly men playing about again."

The IRA planted two bombs along the same highway near Birmingham on April 3. One partially exploded, the other was disabled, and there were no injuries.

The main terminal at Luton was evacuated Friday, but staff continued to process passengers in a cargo center. The airport had also been shut down by hoax warnings Monday.

The IRA resumed its violent campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland in February 1996, ending a 17-month cease-fire. Birmingham was the scene of the IRA's worst atrocity in Britain, the bombing of two pubs that killed 21 people on Nov. 21, 1974.