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Bomb Suspects in London Court

November 22, 2001

LONDON (AP) _ Two men appeared in court Thursday charged with bomb attacks in London and Birmingham that have been blamed on Irish Republican Army dissidents.

Robert Hulme, 22, and Noel Maguire, 32, are the first to be charged from a group of eight people arrested in the past week in connection with a string of attacks in Britain. Two have since been released without charge.

Maguire is charged with a car bomb attack in Ealing, west London, on Aug. 3, and with leaving a taxi bomb at the studios of the British Broadcasting Corp. in nearby Wood Lane on March 3. No one was seriously injured in the attacks.

Hulme is charged with an attack on Nov. 3 when a bomb partially detonated in the central English city of Birmingham. No one was seriously injured in that incident, either.

Hulme is also charged with possessing explosives and firearms offenses. Prosecutors say they can link him to a timer, a power unit, a revolver, ammunition, a grenade, and three detonators found at the Hill Top Farm near Leeds, northern England, where police carried out a series of controlled explosions last week.

Both men face additional charges of conspiring to cause explosions that would endanger life.

A judge sitting at the Belmarsh Magistrates Court in southeast London remanded the men in custody until their next court appearance on Nov. 29. No pleas were entered and their lawyers did not apply for bail.

Since June last year, at least six explosions in London have been linked with IRA dissidents, including a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the headquarters of MI6 _ the British secret intelligence service.

Police have blamed the attacks on a group known as the Real IRA, which split from the IRA in protest over the 1997 cease-fire that led to the involvement of Sinn Fein, the IRA-allied party, in the 1998 Good Friday peace accord.

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