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Two suspected London bombers arrested-TV

July 29, 2005

By Katherine Baldwin and Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) – British police on Friday arrested two of
the three suspected bombers they had been hunting over failed
attacks on London’s transport system, TV reports said, citing
police sources.

Armed police surrounded an apartment in west London and
were heard ordering a suspect to surrender. Witnesses said two
men were taken away from the scene. A third was arrested
nearby.

A police source told Reuters the arrests were “potentially
very significant,” but declined to give details.

Four would-be bombers carried out the abortive attacks on
July 21, exactly two weeks after four suspected 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 — in which bombs were planted but failed to explode
properly — was arrested on Wednesday in a dawn raid in the
central England city of Birmingham.

Police confirmed they had made a total of three arrests at
two different locations on Friday.

The BBC and Sky television said men suspected of carrying
out July 21 attacks at the Oval underground railway station and
on a Number 26 bus had been detained.

All those arrested were taken to the high-security
Paddington Green police station, the police source told
Reuters.

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

One eyewitness, who declined to give her name, said police
had shouted “Mohammed, come out with your underwear on and your
hands up.” He shouted back: “Why should I come out like that?”

Police said “We need to check you haven’t got explosives on
you.”

Witness Brian Dempster told Reuters: “There was an
explosion just after 12 (0700 EDT). 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

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

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.

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 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 arrested
two women at the station, which was then cordoned off. They
investigated a suspect package and later reopened the station.

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.

(Additional reporting by Michael Holden, Kate Holton and
Mike Peacock)




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