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British police arrest 8 in anti-terror raids

The government said that the arrests were part of a nationwide operation.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2007 14:55 IST

Police arrested eight people in a series of dawn raids in central England on Wednesday as part of a major counter-terrorism operation, police said.

Detectives said the people were arrested at addresses across the city of Birmingham on "suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".

"As a precautionary measure we will have an enhanced police presence at these locations," West Midlands police said in a statement.

The government said the arrests were part of a nationwide operation. "We can confirm that a major counter-terrorism operation took place earlier today led by West Midlands Police," the Home Office said in a statement.

"The Home Secretary was fully briefed on the operation and is receiving regular updates as developments occur.

"This operation is a reminder of the real and serious nature of the terrorist threat we face."

Britain is on its second-highest threat level of "severe" which indicates that security services believe a terrorist attack is highly likely.

Last year the head of MI5, Britain's domestic spy service, warned that about 30 terrorism plots were being worked on and agents were monitoring around 1,600 suspects.

First Published: Jan 31, 2007 14:55 IST