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Bombing Forces Newspapers to Find Publishing Alternatives

February 12, 1996

LONDON (AP) _ An IRA bombing kept two newspapers from using their London printing facilities, but The Observer and The Guardian were not silenced.

The explosion in a parking garage Friday destroyed tons of newsprint and damaged the east London printing press used by both papers. The press is just 200 yards from the site of the blast.

But the Observer, a weekly newspaper, printed its Sunday edition on its presses in the northern England city of Leeds. The Observer normally prints more than half its run of 450,000 copies at the east London plant.

And while the Observer’s daily affiliate, The Guardian, suspended printing on Friday, it continued to report on the aftermath of the bombing and produced an electronic edition on the World Wide Web portion of the Internet.

The Guardian’s printing operations were getting back to normal Sunday, but officials said they did not know when they would be producing a normal newspaper again. The Guardian has a circulation of about 400,000.

The blast in the Docklands area killed two men at a newsstand and injured dozens of people. The Irish Republican Army has claimed responsibility.

A printer for the Observer, Graham Picton, was slightly injured by flying debris from the blast, the newspaper said.

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