POLICE RAID ON NOTTING HILL – stun grenades used by armed police

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Yesterday, police said that two more of the alleged 21 July would-be London bombers were now in custody after a series of armed raids in North Kensington, west London.

One raid was carried out in Delgarno Gardens near Wormwood Scrubs, and another in Tavistock Road and Tavistock Crescent, near Westbourne Park tube.

There were three arrests in all.

The Delgarno Gardens raid turned into a three and a half hour armed siege.

Police said they were informed at 9.30 in the morning that a suspected suicide bomber was in a flat on the Peabody Estate.

Armed police moved in around 11.00am and began to cordon off the area.

Police armed with machine guns, wearing crash helmets, body armour and gas masks, some in plain clothes, fired a total of nine or ten stun grenades in the course of attempts to get one man out of a flat.

Some witnesses said they had seen army personnel at the siege.

A man inside the flat was ordered by police: ‘Take your clothes off. Exit the building’.

Police were heard continually shouting at him to come out, addressing him as ‘Mohammad’.

A local resident said police told him to come out with his underwear on.

She said the man shouted back, why did he need to strip down to his underwear.

The police said so they could see he wasn’t in possession of explosives.

He refused, saying if I come out you’ll shoot me, she added.

Later, she said, a more aggressive officer said ‘if you don’t come out, if you don’t communicate with the police we’ll shoot you’.

The resident said she did not recognise the man from any of the photos of the bombers published by police.

Witnesses heard six explosions around 11.30am. Around 1.15pm three or four more explosions were heard.

Soon after, police started moving cameramen away from the scene before they banned live pictures altogether at 1.45pm, saying the armed siege had reached a ‘challenging stage’.

At 2.32pm police in blue forensic suits were seen marching out a man in a white forensic boiler suit.

While the west London raids were in progress, elsewhere two women were made to lie face down and arrested during an armed police operation at Liverpool Street that saw the railway and Tube station temporarily closed down yesterday afternoon.

Before news of the first armed operation broke, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair called for more firearms officers to be recruited.

British Transport Police had begun the day by flooding railway and Tube trains with 6,000 police officers, many of them armed, in a ‘high alert’ operation, the biggest such operation ever mounted.

Rail passengers were confronted with armed officers patrolling carriage aisles carrying automatic rifles.