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Manchester Police Conduct Controlled Explosion During Search for Bombing Links

25 May 2017

Britain raced Thursday to track down a jihadist network suspected of orchestrating the Manchester concert attack, as a row escalated between London and Washington over leaked material from the probe.

British police say it is "very clear" authorities are investigating a "network" connected to Monday night's terror attack in Manchester.

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday it was possible a wider group was linked to the bombing, prompting the deployment of troops a little more than two weeks before the general election on June 8.

"We don't believe in killing innocents".

Images obtained by The New York Times newspaper showed a detonator that bomber Salman Abedi was said to have carried in his left hand, shrapnel including nuts and screws, and the shredded remains of a blue backpack.

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Abedi was first revealed as the attacker on Tuesday by CBS in the US, prompting United Kingdom police to put out a statement saying speculation was "unhelpful and potentially damaging" to the investigation.

British police chiefs on Thursday condemned the release of potential evidence while inquiries were ongoing, and said that the leaks represented breaches of trust which undermined their investigation.

Investigators were trying to piece together the last movements of Abedi, a Manchester-born man of Libyan descent whose parents had reportedly fled the former regime of Moamer Kadhafi.

Sources said the family are from Cheshire.

Rudd, Britain's top domestic defense official, told BBC News on Wednesday that Monday's attack, in which 22 people were killed and 64 were injured, was a "devastating occasion".

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A report from Germany's Focus magazine had placed Abedi in Deutschland four days before the massacre outside an Ariana Grande concert.

British officials believe he had recently returned from Libya.

One man was arrested following raids in the Withington area while the other was arrested in the Manchester area, according to the police. Azhar Mahmoud, who prays at the mosque in south Manchester, said it was "horrible" that Abedi was associated with it.

Earlier this month, Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing in Britain, said security services are dealing with threats to the British public every day. France's interior minister said Abedi is believed to have also traveled to Syria and had "proven" links with the Islamic State group.

Britain's national terror threat level was raised late Tuesday to "critical", meaning another attack may be imminent, following the attack on the concert of U.S. singer Ariana Grande. It means military personnel will be deployed to protect key sites.

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A total of four people have been arrested in connection to the bombing that killed 22 people. "We aren't the ones who blow up ourselves among innocents". Campaigning will resume on Friday. Rouse said many of those hospitalized had serious injuries that would require "very long term care and support in terms of their recovery". Twelve of the injured are aged under 16. They included an eight-year-old girl, two teenage girls and a 28-year-old man.