UK police make 8th arrest, seize ‘suspicious package’ in widening Manchester bombing probe

UK police make 8th arrest, seize ‘suspicious package’ in widening Manchester bombing probe
British police are continuing their searches and raids in connection with the Manchester Arena suicide bomber attack. It says it has arrested eight suspects.

Two men were arrested in Manchester on Thursday morning. One of the men was detained following searches of an address in the Withington area of the city, while another was arrested in a part of Greater Manchester that was not disclosed. 

A total of eight men are now in custody in connection to the case.

A woman arrested in the Blackley area of Manchester on Wednesday has been released without charge. 

The men are in custody following raids across Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton, and Warwickshire, following the terror attack by Salman Abedi that claimed 22 lives.

One of those detained in Manchester is Abedi's older brother, Ismail, 23. 

Police said a suspect arrested on Wednesday had a “package” on him while witnesses reported a bomb squad arriving at the cordoned off area. Authorities, however, did not reveal much information about the incident.

“When arrested, the man was carrying a package which we are currently assessing. A police cordon remains in place while this is carried out,” Manchester police said, without providing further details.

Abedi's father, Ramadan Abedi, was arrested in Tripoli with the bomber's brother Hashim, who Libyan security forces said was "aware of all the details" of the attack. 

“I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating,” police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters on Wednesday.

“And as I've said, it continues at a pace. There’s extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak.”

Authorities in Britain are continuing the investigation into the suicide bombing and have significantly stepped up security throughout the country after raising the country’s terror threat level to “critical” on Tuesday.

Abedi, 22, blew himself up in the foyer of the Manchester Arena on Monday immediately following Ariana Grande's concert. Twenty-two people were killed in the blast and dozens others injured.