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Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack

By AFP   |   25 May 2017   |   3:02 pm  

A British army soldier (L) and a police officer (R) secure an entrance to Downing Street in central London on May 25, 2017, after Operation Temperer was put into force putting soldiers under police command on British streets in response to the May 22 terror attack at the Manchester Arena. Police said they arrested two men Thursday in the Manchester area in connection with the deadly bombing of an Ariana Grande pop concert, while a detained woman was released without charges. Britain has raised its terror alert to the maximum level and ordered troops to protect strategic sites after 22 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a Manchester pop concert. / AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE’N

Libya is working closely with Britain to identify possible “terrorist networks” involved in the attack at a pop concert in Manchester, a senior Libyan official said Thursday.

“We are working closely and intensively with our British partners to probe possible terrorist networks and we have achieved important progress,” deputy interior minister Abdelsalam Ashour told reporters.

Britain has named the suspected suicide bomber who killed 22 people in an attack on a Manchester concert Monday as Salman Abedi, who was born in Britain of Libyan origin.

Ashour, a member of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), said the interior ministry’s Deterrence Force was in charge of the investigation but gave no further details.

“We have strong and close ties with our (British) friends,” he told reporters, reading from a statement.

Libyan authorities have detained the alleged suicide bomber’s father as well as a brother, sources in Libya have said.

Investigators in Britain were trying to track down a jihadist network suspected of having orchestrated the attack which also wounded dozens.

After arresting a 23-year-old man on Tuesday, British police said they had taken three more men into custody on Wednesday in south Manchester, where Abedi lived.

Monday’s attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.



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