Manchester terror attack: Further arrests made this morning

Salman Abedi.
Salman Abedi.
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Two men were arrested this morning in connection with Monday's terror attack in Manchester as investigators probed a "network" linked to the suicide bomber.

One man was arrested after a property was searched in the Withington area of Manchester, while another was detained elsewhere in the city, Greater Manchester Police said.

The arrests take the total number of men in custody to eight after a series of raids across Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

A woman had also been arrested in Manchester last night during an armed raid on a block of flats in Blackley but was later released without charge.

The arrests came after detectives carried out a controlled explosion as they searched a property in the Moss Side area of Manchester in the early hours of Thursday.

Meanwhile, the father and brother of suicide bomber Salman Abedi were arrested in Libya.

Abedi's father, Ramadan Abedi, was allegedly a member of the al-Qaeda-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, according to a former Libyan security official, Abdel-Basit Haroun.

The elder Abedi denied that he was part of the militant group and said his son was not involved in the concert bombing and had no connection to militants.

The 51-year-old told national media during a telephone interview from Tripoli: "We don't believe in killing innocents. This is not us."

He said he spoke to his son five days ago and that he was getting ready for a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. He said his son visited Libya a month and a half ago and was planning to return to Libya to spend the holy month of Ramadan with the family.

He also denied his son had spent time in Syria or fought with the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the concert bombing.

He added: "Last time I spoke to him, he sounded normal. There was nothing worrying at all until ... I heard the news that they are suspecting he was the bomber."

He confirmed that another son, Ismail, aged 23, was arrested on Tuesday in Manchester. A third son, 18-year-old Hashim, was arrested in Tripoli late last night, according to a Libyan government spokesman, Ahmed bin Salem. The elder Abedi was also later arrested.

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