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Artist claims she caused London bomb alerts -police

Written by: Staff

LONDON, Apr 26 (Reuters) A ''performance artist'' sparked a major security alert today when she left five suspect packages, one with nails sticking out of it, across a busy area of London during the morning rush-hour, police said.

The woman, who has not been named, told officers she had strategically planted the ''devices'' around the Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith Grove areas, a major traffic and transport hub, crammed with Londoners on their way to work.

Police, fearing a possible repeat of last July's suicide bomb attacks which killed 52 commuters on the capital's transport system, rushed bomb squad officers to the scene and threw a large cordon around the area.

About an hour later, the operation, which caused chaos for thousands of travellers, was scaled down after the woman went to police and claimed responsibility.

''Whilst officers were responding to the incidents a 36-year-old woman attended a west London police station,'' a police spokeswoman said.

''The woman who is from the Shepherd's Bush area and who described herself as an artist was then arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance and taken into custody where she remains.'' REUTERS DKS PC1737

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