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Two suspected London bombers arrested-Sky TV

July 29, 2005

By Katherine Baldwin and Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) – British police on Friday arrested two of
the three suspected bombers being hunted over failed attacks on
London’s transport system, Sky Television said, citing police
sources.

The news of an apparent breakthrough came after armed
police surrounded an apartment in west London and were heard
ordering a suspect to surrender. Live television then cut away
from the standoff on police instructions.

Four would-be bombers carried out the abortive attacks on
July 21, exactly two weeks after four suicide bombers,
suspected of being Islamist militants, killed themselves and 52
other people in blasts on three underground trains and a bus in
London.

One of those suspected of carrying out one of the July 21
attacks was arrested in a dawn raid on Wednesday in the central
England city of Birmingham.

London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed a number of arrests
had been made on Friday but would not say where or whether
those arrested were thought to be any of the bombers.

“I can confirm there were arrests,” a police spokeswoman
said.

Police were involved in a dramatic stand-off with the
suspect they cornered in west London.

“Take your clothes off. Exit the building,” police were
heard shouting outside the apartment.

A witness, identified as Lisa Davis, told Sky News
television by phone: “Five armed police with guns and shields
are moving in. They are telling everyone to get inside now.

By way of Davis’s phone, viewers could hear police shouting
at the suspect to leave the apartment. Calling the man
Mohammed, they told him that if he left, he would be safe.

Witness Brian Dempster told Reuters: “There was an
explosion just after 12 (1100 GMT). Police shouted at us to
stay in the house then there was shooting going on.

“We heard quite a few bursts of it. It sounded like
machineguns. The police came around with gas masks on and
Alsatian dogs and told us to get out.”

BLAST HEARD

Local resident Martin Pendergast told Reuters he had heard
some sort of blast. “It sounded like a kind of version of a
firework mixed with a shotgun,” he added.

Another witness reported up to six explosions and said he
had been told by police they were caused by stun grenades.

Police specialists in forensic suits and gas masks were
seen preparing to enter a housing estate in the Ladbroke Grove
area.

Two days after the four failed attacks, police said they
had found a fifth bomb in bushes in the Wormwood Scrubs area, a
few hundred meters (yards) from the scene of Friday’s raid.

In a day of frequent and dramatic developments, police also
arrested two people at London’s Liverpool Street station in the
heart of the city and closed the complex.

A witness told the BBC that plain clothes police swooped to
arrest two women at the station, which was then cordoned off.
Police told people in the area they would carry out a
controlled explosion.

Police have been under pressure to exercise caution after
they shot dead Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in London last
Friday because they mistook him for a suicide bomber.

In the biggest manhunt ever undertaken by British police,
London police chief Ian Blair said on Thursday he was confident
the three would-be bombers would be caught.

“How soon it will be, I don’t know. But I am quite sure the
net is closing,” he said.




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