Soho pub bombing
April 1999 saw a brief but bloody bombing campaign in London against various minority groups. On April 17 Electric Avenue in Brixton, an area with a large Black community, was targeted, a nail bomb exploding in the late afternoon injuring 50 bystanders. Next weekend a similar device using an alarm clock to detonate gunpowder taken from fireworks was set off injuring 13 people in Brick Lane where there is a significant Bengali population. The third and final attack by the bomber was to prove deadly.
At about 6.30pm on April 30 1999, a Bank Holiday Friday, the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho was torn apart by another nail bomb placed inside. Three people were killed by the explosion, and 79 more were injured, some losing limbs in the blast. The bomber had chosen the pub for its location on Old Compton Street in London’s gay village, but with tragic irony his victims were a woman celebrating her pregnancy with her husband and with two friends who also died.
David Copeland, a 23-year-old engineer’s assistant from Hampshire was arrested by the police the same night, a colleague having identified him from CCTV footage shown on TV. He admitted his Nazi beliefs and was later given six life sentences for his vile attacks.
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