British police arrest seven in counter-terror operation

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British police said on Monday they had arrested six men and a woman in Birmingham as part of a major counter-terrorism operation.

The men, aged between 25 and 32, were detained overnight on suspicion of the commmission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in Britain, Birmingham-based West Midlands Police said in a statement.

Unarmed officers arrested the male suspects at or close to their homes in Britain's second biggest city between 11:30 pm (2230 GMT) on Sunday and 01:00 am on Monday, it said.

In addition, a 22-year-old woman was arrested on Monday on suspicion of failing to disclose information which could have used in assisting the prevention of an act of terrorism, said police.

Police said the suspects were being held for questioning in the Birmingham area.

"The operation is in its early stages so we are unable to go into detail at this time about the nature of the suspected offences," police assistant chief constable Marcus Beale said.

"However, I believe it was necessary to take action at this time in order to ensure public safety."

Police said the arrests were not connected to the conference of the Liberal Democract party, the junior partner in the coalition government, currently taking place in Birmingham.

© 2011 AFP

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