Manchester armed police storm property in city centre linked to arena suicide bombing

Raid near Piccadilly station follows arrests earlier on Wednesday

Tom Batchelor,Adam Lusher
Wednesday 24 May 2017 13:02 BST
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Police outside Granby House in Granby Row, which was raided by armed police
Police outside Granby House in Granby Row, which was raided by armed police (PA)

Armed police have carried out a raid on a property in central Manchester, as the investigation into the terror attack that left 22 dead continues to gather pace.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed the operation near the city's Gay Village and university buildings was linked to the bombing on Monday evening.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “Officers have this afternoon carried out a search at an address in Manchester City Centre as part of the investigation into the horrific incident at Manchester Arena.

“That search is on-going.”

Police temporarily closed a major railway line linking Manchester Piccadilly with Oxford Road station. It has since been re-opened.

Photos taken by a witness showed police officers and soldiers outside the Granby House block of flats on Granby Row.

Residents described how armed police and men clad in balaclavas stormed the building.

Yasir Qureshi, 38, who lives on the fifth floor, said: "I heard what sounded like a huge explosion, the building shook and the fire alarm went off.

"When my neighbour and I finally went down we saw armed police on the front door."

Lynne Deakin, 53, went up from her ground floor flat to see armed police crowding round the door of the raided property.

She said: "Piccadilly station is two minutes walk away at the top of the road and the railway line runs three or four feet away from the back of this building.

"I have always said that if you wanted, you could plant a bomb in the basement and take out the train line."

Police continued to guard the property this afternoon.

It follows an operation in which three men were arrested in connection with the concert suicide bombing.

They were detained after police executed warrants in the south of the city, taking the total of people in custody to four.

Twenty-two people were killed and dozens more seriously injured when Salman Abedi detonated a device as fans left Manchester Arena, where US star Ariana Grande was performing on Monday night.

It was the worst terrorist incident to hit the UK since the July 7 attacks in London in 2005.

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