02/06/2006

Police shoot man during anti-terror raid

Police have shot a man during an anti-terrorism raid in east London.

The 20-year-old man was shot during the raid at a property in Forestgate in the early hours of Friday morning.

He was taken to the Royal London hospital, but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. He was later arrested in hospital.

Police suspected that the house in Lansdown Road was being used to make explosives.

A 23-year-old man was arrested at the scene and is now in custody at a central London police station.

Both men were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

According to reports, both men are believed to be of Bengali origin.

Several other people who were in the house at the time of the raid were moved to other premises, but were not arrested.

Scotland Yard said that the raid was carried out as a "precautionary measure" and was not linked to the London bombings in July 2005.

The decision to launch the raid followed discussions between MI5, the anti-terrorist branch and the Health Protection Agency.

Around 250 officers were reported to be involved in the raid. The search is continuing at the property and is expected to continue for several days.

An air exclusion zone, which will ban aircraft from flying over the site below 2,500ft, has been set up over east London and will remain in place for four days, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

There have been reports that a group of around 20 Asian men had gathered outside the Royal London hospital to protest about the arrest and alleged heavy-handed treatment by the police during the raid.

The Forestgate area is a mixed community, with a large number of Bengali and Pakistani families, as well as many Eastern Europeans.

The Home Office confirmed that Home Secretary John Reid was being kept informed of all developments since the operation began.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said that the incident had been referred to them immediately and that they had begun an investigation.

(KMcA)

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