Po­lice ar­rest man at Dover port, search house in Lon­don man­hunt

CRIT­I­CAL LEVEL: Bri­tain on high­est threat level of crit­i­cal; sol­diers guard strate­gic sites

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON: Bri­tish po­lice ar­rested an 18-year-old man in the port of Dover and raided a house in a small town out­side Lon­don on Saturday as they hunted for who­ever planted a bomb on a com­muter train that in­jured 30 peo­ple a day ear­lier.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May put Bri­tain on the high­est se­cu­rity level of “crit­i­cal” late on Friday, mean­ing an­other at­tack may be im­mi­nent, and de­ployed sol­diers and armed po­lice to strate­gic lo­ca­tions such as nu­clear plants and de­fence sites.

In what au­thor­i­ties called a “very sig­nif­i­cant” devel­op­ment, of­fi­cers ar­rested a man at about 7.50 am (0650 GMT) in Dover, from where pas­sen­ger fer­ries sail to France. Five hours later they raided a prop­erty in Sun­bury, a com­muter town south­west of Lon­don, and evac­u­ated nearby premises as a pre­cau­tion.

Pho­to­graphs showed po­lice cor­dons in a mod­est sub­ur­ban street in Sun­bury, in the county of Sur­rey, around 18 km from Par­sons Green where the bomb ex­ploded.

“This is a very sig­nif­i­cant ar­rest. The po­lice have made very good progress but the op­er­a­tion is on­go­ing,” said in­te­rior min­is­ter Am­ber Rudd, adding that the threat level re­mained at “crit­i­cal”.

“There is no doubt that this was a se­ri­ous IED (im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice) and it was good for­tune that it did so lit­tle dam­age.”

In what was the fifth ma­jor ter­ror­ism at­tack in Bri­tain this year, the home-made bomb shot flames through a packed com­muter train dur­ing the Friday morn­ing rush hour in west Lon­don but ap­par­ently failed to det­o­nate fully.

The mil­i­tant re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Ac­cord­ing the bomb was group IS claimed to me­dia re­ports, at­tached to a timer, un­like other re­cent blasts which have typ­i­cally been sui­cide bombs.

Pic­tures showed a slightly charred white plas­tic bucket with wires com­ing out of the top in a su­per­mar­ket shop­ping bag on the floor of a train car­riage.

The Par­sons Green sta­tion where the at­tack took place re­opened by Saturday morn­ing.

Armed po­lice pa­trolled the streets of Lon­don near govern­ment de­part­ments in West­min­ster and were guard­ing Premier League soc­cer grounds host­ing matches on Saturday, in­clud­ing the na­tional sta­dium at Wem­b­ley.

Cres­sida Dick, Bri­tain’s top po­lice of­fi­cer, sought to re­as­sure the pub­lic as she joined col­leagues pa­trolling the en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict on the south bank of the Thames.

“Yes­ter­day we saw a cow­ardly and in­dis­crim­i­nate at­tack which could have re­sulted in many lives be­ing lost,” she said. “Lon­don has not stopped af­ter other ter­ri­ble at­tacks and it will not stop af­ter this one.”

The last time Bri­tain was put on “crit­i­cal” alert was af­ter a sui­cide bomber killed 22 peo­ple at a con­cert by the Amer­i­can singer Ari­ana Grande in Manch­ester in May.

The threat level re­mained at the high­est set­ting for four days while po­lice raced to es­tab­lish if the man had worked alone or with the help of oth­ers. Prior to that it had not been trig­gered since 2007.

Prime Min­is­ter May said the pub­lic should not be alarmed by armed of­fi­cers on the streets, a rare sight in Bri­tain. “This is a pro­por­tion­ate and sen­si­ble step which will pro­vide ex­tra re­as­sur­ance and pro­tec­tion while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­gresses,” she said in a tele­vised state­ment late on Friday.

The bomb struck as pas­sen­gers were trav­el­ling to the cen­tre of the Bri­tish cap­i­tal. — Reuters

— AFP

An armed po­lice of­fi­cer (2R) and a mil­i­tary per­son­nel (R) stand guard as the House­hold Cav­alry leave the Horse Guards Pa­rade in cen­tral Lon­don on Saturday.

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