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British police arrest 12 terror suspects

Twelve people, including 10 Pakistanis, were arrested on suspicion of having links with Al Qaeda terrorist network in a series of raids in northwest England, the police said on Wednesday.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2009 12:21 IST

Twelve people, including 10 Pakistanis, were arrested on suspicion of having links with Al Qaeda terrorist network in a series of raids in northwest England, the police said on Wednesday.

The swoop was believed to have been brought forward due to a security blunder, after Britain's most senior counter-terrorism chief, Bob Quick, was filmed clutching highly sensitive documents as he arrived in Downing Street to brief the government.

Among a large bundle of papers under his arm was a white document clearly marked "secret" and carrying an outline briefing on an ongoing counter-terrorism operation.

Few details were released but reports said those arrested included two students who were surrounded by armed police at John Moores University in Liverpool.Ten of the men were reportedly from Pakistan and in Britain on student visas.

Quick, who is head of Scotland Yard's specialist operations wing, had apologised to his superior, Scotland Yard chief Paul Stephenson, for "leaving the document on show," the Press Association reported.