Terrorism link to seized guns ruled out

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THE ARSENAL of machine-guns and powerful rifles found in an inner city district of Liverpool was probably assembled for criminal, not terrorist use, Merseyside Police said yesterday.

Six officers from the Serious Crime Squad who raided a ground- floor flat found eight sub-machine guns, one Uzi machine pistol, three Kalashnikov rifles, one Armalite rifle and 250 rounds of ammunition.

The cache was concealed under a bed settee and behind a wardrobe in the front room of the flat in Everton. The squad received a tip- off before raiding the house on Sunday afternoon. A female student was in the upstairs flat, but the ground floor was unoccupied. Police are trying to trace a man seen nearby at noon.

Detective Superintendent Mike Semple said the guns formed the largest arsenal of illegal weaponry fund in Merseyside for more than 20 years. It was unlikely that terrorists had collected the weapons, although anti-terrorist police had been told of the discovery.

Greater Manchester Ambulance Service yesterday extended its trial use of bullet-proof jackets. Ambulance staff anxious about knife and gun attacks during domestic disputes will be able to wear the clothing.