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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

British police arrest three in Wales over London tube attack

British police have arrested three men in south Wales over last week's bombing of a busy commuter train in west London, meaning five people are now being questioned by detectives over the attack which injured 30 people.

A 25-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday evening in Newport, while two others, aged 48 and 30, were detained at another address in the Welsh town in the early hours of Wednesday, London police said.

"This continues to be a fast-moving investigation. A significant amount of activity has taken place since the attack on Friday," said Commander Dean Haydon, head of London police's Counter Terrorism Command.

"We now have five men in custody and searches are continuing at four addresses. Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack."

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The operation comes as Britain remains on high alert following last week’s attempted bombing.

On Wednesday morning, the area around Liverpool Street station, in the heart of London’s financial district, was evacuated as armed police investigated a suspicious package. The cordons were later lifted after the item was found to be non-suspicious.

The national terror threat level was raised to "critical" in the aftermath of Friday’s blast, but has since returned to "severe", meaning further attacks are considered highly likely.

An 18-year-old was arrested in the departure lounge at the port of Dover on Saturday and another suspect, 21, was detained hours later in the west London suburb of Hounslow.

Both were said by local media to have links to a property in Sunbury-on-Thames, a town just outside London, where police were carrying out a major search.

The house belongs to a couple who have fostered hundreds of children, including refugees. The leader of the local authority was quoted as saying the 18-year-old was an Iraqi who had come to Britain as an orphan.

ISIL militants said they were responsible for the attack although both British and U.S. officials have cast doubt on the claim, saying there was no evidence any recognised militant group had ordered or organised the bombing.

Friday's bombing was the fifth major attack regarded by authorities as a terrorist incident in Britain this year which have claimed the lives of 36 people.