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UK interior minister says terror threat remains at highest level

UK interior minister says terror threat remains at highest level

The UK's terror threat level has been reduced as police unravel the bomb-making methods of the Manchester suicide attacker and close in on suspected co-conspirators.

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) increased the threat level to "critical" - its highest level - meaning a further terror attack was considered "imminent".

Now 11 people remain in police custody after a raid on an address in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester saw a 20-year-old and a 22-year-old detained on suspicion of terror offences.

Manchester Police are now holding eight men in custody and further searches were continuing on Friday as officers sought to determine if the bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, was supported by a wider network.

Explaining the decision to reduce the terror threat level from critical - its highest level - to severe, May said troops would also be withdrawn from the streets, another measure adopted after the bombing.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was the "responsibility" of governments to minimise the risk of terror by giving police the funding they need following cuts made when May was interior minister. There is still much more to do - there will be more arrests, there will be more searches.

Rowley, who said on Friday police were confident they had apprehended a "large part of the network", said there had searched or were still examining 17 addresses, mainly in northwest England, and there would be further raids.

In response to the attack the Prime Minister launched the pre-planned Operation Temperer, which instructed members of the armed forces to join public patrols under police command.

A police officer speaks to a resident at an address in Moss Side, Manchester, Britain May 27, 2017. Two people were arrested and later released.

"A visible, united, police presence making sure everyone has a good time at tonight's gig", Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter.

Activity in the Manchester probe is expected to continue throughout the weekend and investigators remained at at least 12 locations across the North West on Friday evening.

As campaigning resumed ahead of a snap June 8 election, the issue of security was brought sharply to the fore, with polls suggesting May's lead had fallen sharply.