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British court acquits 3 charged in 2005 London bombings

A British jury cleared three men on Tuesday of charges that they helped suicide bombers who killed 52 people on London's transit system four years ago.

A British jury cleared three men on Tuesday of charges that they helped suicide bombers who killed 52 people on London's transit system four years ago.

Jurors at Kingston Crown Court in London found Waheed Ali, 25, Sadeer Saleem, 28, and Mohammed Shakil, 32, not guilty of conspiring to cause explosions with the bombers who blew themselves up aboard three subway trains and a bus on July 7, 2005.

More than 700 others were injured in the attacks, which closed the entire London Underground for a day.

Ali and Shakil were convicted of a lesser charge of conspiring to attend a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. They will be sentenced Wednesday.

Prosecutors had said the men in December 2004 had scouted targets for the attacks along with some of the bombers.

The defendants said they were merely taking in tourist attractions and visiting Ali's sister. Defence lawyers had argued that there was no evidence linking them directly to the bombings, and said all three accused were shocked by the bombings.

No verdict in original trial

The three men, all hailing from the town of Leeds, were arrested in March 2007. They were first tried in 2008, but the jury failed to deliver a verdict.

They are the only people charged in connection with the 2005 bombings.

Police said their inquiry — Britain's largest police investigation ever — is continuing. But officers say their work has been hindered by the reluctance of witnesses in Britain's Muslim communities to come forward.

Jacqui Putnam, who was injured in the blast in a subway car at London's Edgware Road station, said the failure to bring anyone to justice has left survivors frustrated.

"It was painful to follow the trial, and it is equally painful to be here, nearly four years after [the 2005 attacks] and still have so many unanswered questions," Putnam said in a statement after the verdict.

With files from The Associated Press

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