British police find chemicals, homemade explosives in home

Police found chemicals and evidence of homemade explosive devices at a home in northern England and destroyed them with four controlled explosions on Wednesday. Police also arrested a 17-year-old boy at the home in the town of Haslingden and evacuated dozens of nearby houses before conducting the four blasts at around 1 a.m., said Louise Charnock, a spokeswoman for Lancashire county constabulary.

Acting on a tip from intelligence officers, police arrived at the home in Haslingden, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of London, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with a search warrant, found the materials and evacuated nearby buildings, Charnock said.

"The bomb disposal units are experts at deciding what part of such materials need to be kept for evidence and what needs to destroyed," Charnock said. The youth, who cannot be identified under British law because of his age, was being questioned at a local police station and had not been charged, she said.

About 40 local residents were taken from their homes to a local leisure center while the explosions were conducted, but some were returning home at about 8 a.m., Charnock said.

Since a suicide attack by four British men carrying bombs killed 52 commuters on London's transport system on July 7, Britain's government, intelligence services and anti-terrorist police have been trying to find and stop terrorist cells before they strike.

On Tuesday, police arrested a suspect in a failed terrorist bombing on London's transit system on July 21, officials said. The man was arrested at Gatwick Airport as he got off a flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, London's Metropolitan Police said. They said the 23-year-old man, who was not identified, was suspected of committing, preparing or instigating terrorism acts and was being questioned, reports the AP. I.L.

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