Anti-terror police make dawn raids

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Anti-terrorist police arrested a number of people in dawn raids across the capital yesterday, as investigations continued into the IRA's latest bombing campaign.

Armed officers from Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Branch raided addresses in west London and Essex. Those arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act were taken to a central London police station for questioning about the three most recent terrorist incidents in the capital, including Wednesday night's failed attempt to blow up Hammersmith Bridge.

But police sources yesterday warned that the operation should not be viewed as a major breakthrough and stressed that those arrested - whom they would neither name nor quantify - were not thought to be strong suspects.

In Fulham, south-west London, local people said armed anti-terrorist officers fired five or six shots during a raid on a house at around 7am.