LONDON -- An IRA bomb caused an 'almighty explosion' that ripped a gaping hole in the home of Britain's chief law officer who said today he was not frightened and had been on the IRA's death list for 10 years.
'The IRA do not frighten me,' Attorney General Sir Michael Havers told the London Daily Express newspaper.
Neither Havers nor his wife, Caroline, were at home in Wimbledon, south London, at the time of the blast. They had gone to a legal conference in Spain.
'I have been expecting this. I have been on their death list for the last 10 years,' Havers said. 'I have prosecuted a number of IRA terrorists and I have always known that I was a prime target for them.'
The British government has provided Havers with a 24-hour police guard.
The IRA issued a statement in Dublin claiming responsibility for the explosion -- the fourth bomb attack in Londonin five weeks. There was no warning before the blast.
Two civilians died and nearly 40 people were injured in an explosion outside Chelsea baracks Oct. 10.
Sir Stuart Pringle, commander of the Royal Marines, was maimed in a car bomb Oct. 17 and 10 days later a bomb in an Oxford Street fast-food store killed a police explosives expert.
The explosion, heard all over south London, blew a 15 by 12 foot hole in the rear wall of the house and shattered several bullet proof windows but there was no visible damage to the front of the house.
A policewoman on guard duty outside the house was treated for shock.
A woman who lived 2 miles away from Havers' house said the blast was terrifying.
'It was one big almighty explosion,' Thelma Selway said. 'The house all shook and everybody came out into the roads. We thought the back door was coming in.'
Anne Dennistoun-Sword, one of Sir Michael's neighbors, said it was an 'enormous explosion.'
'I thought I was living in another war,' she said.
Mrs. Dennistoun-Sword said Sir Michael was 'known to be out of the country.'
Scotland Yard said the explosion occurred outside the rear of the house. Bomb squad and anti-terrorist officers rushed to the house to search for any other explosives. Police sealed off the area to all but residents.
Havers, 58, lives in the exclusive Wimbledon district near the famous tennis courts and represents the district in Parliament in addition to his duties as attorney general.
Earlier this year Havers led the Crown's successful prosecution of the 'Yorkshire Ripper,' Peter Sutcliffe, 35, who was convicted of murdering and mutilating 13 women and trying to kill seven others in a five-year reign of terror in northern England.