UK opens investigation into July 7 bombing deaths

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LONDON (AP) — An inquest into the suicide bomb attacks that killed 52 London commuters five years ago is under way.

A lawyer told the inquest that witnesses described the four men who carried out the attack as "smiling and laughing and generally relaxed" as they took a train with knapsacks that were packed with explosives.

The chief counsel to the inquest also said the bombings may have been planned for the previous day -- not the 7/7 date that has been seared into Britons' memories.

He says a mobile phone that was recovered from one bomb site showed that the ringleader sent a text message to another attacker early in the morning on July 6, saying he was having a "major problem."

The hearings are expected to last five months. They'll look at whether the emergency services' response was adequate and whether the intelligence services and police could have prevented the attacks.

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<<APPHOTO LON114 (07/07/05)>>

: FILE -- In this Thursday July 7, 2005 file photo, a forensic officer walks next to the wreckage of a double decker bus with its top blown off and damaged cars scattered on the road at Tavistock Square in central London. A long-delayed inquest into the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings that killed 52 people on London's transit network opened in London Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, with a minute's silence in memory of the victims. The coroner, lawyers, members of the public and relatives of the victims stood in silent tribute as hearings opened at London's Royal Courts of Justice into one of Britain's deadliest terrorist attacks. Lawyer Hugo Keith read out the names of all those who died when four suicide bombers detonated devices hidden in knapsacks aboard three subway trains and a double-decker bus

<<CUT …198 (10/11/10)>> 00:29 "''

Shanshan Dong

Britain has opened a long-awaited investigation into the 2005 bombings in London. Correspondent Shanshan Dong reports.

<<CUT …199 (10/11/10)>> 00:11 "proceedings to begin"

Shanshan Dong

Correspondent Shanshan Dong reports the investigation was delayed because of a prosecution case.

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