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British Police Arrest Suspected Terrorists - 2004-04-19

British police have arrested 10 people in and around the northern city of Manchester for suspected terrorist activity.

Manchester police say the arrests of nine men and one woman were made in a series of raids.

According to a police statement, the 10 suspects are being held on suspicion of involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Officers say the suspects include people of North African and Iraqi Kurd origin.

The Manchester Assistant Chief Constable David Whatton told British television the arrests are part of ongoing anti-terrorist investigations.

"We have never had such a high level of threat of terrorism in the United Kingdom since some time before Christmas now, and this is just part of the work that is ongoing to make sure that we keep the country safe," said Mr. Whatton.

He said six men and a woman were arrested by Greater Manchester police, while police departments in three nearby counties each arrested one man in their jurisdictions.

Local media say one of the properties raided was an apartment situated above a Kurdish-owned take-out restaurant in central Manchester.

Some reports say the arrests could be linked to a plot to blow up a Manchester shopping center, but police were making no comment.

Three-weeks ago, anti-terror police arrested eight men in and around London and one man in Canada in a suspected bomb-making plot. London police also seized half-a-ton of fertilizer that could have been made into explosives.

Six of the men have been charged with explosives or terrorist-related violations, and three have been released.