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Girlfriends of suspected London bombers arrested

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 31, 2005 18:58 IST
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The girlfriends of two of the suspected London bombers were arrested while allegedly trying to leave the country, a media report said on Sunday.

The women were trying to board an express train for Stansted airport at the Liverpool street station when armed anti-terror cops arrested them on Friday, it said.

According to security sources, the two were partners of Muktar Said Ibrahim and Ramzi  Mohammed, both linked to the failed suicide attacks on underground train stations in London on July 21. However, the women were released after questioning. 

Also read: The London blasts

Police are understood to have tracked the women leaving their flat on the Peabody Estate in North Kensington, West London, just before the raid there.

Amid dramatic scenes at Liverpool street, the women, queuing for rail tickets, were ordered to lie on the ground with guns being pointed at their heads, The Sunday Mirror reported.

Police officers feared they were facing suicide bombers and that they were hiding explosives under their traditional burkhas.  The women, in their early 20s, were carrying bulky boxes and rucksacks and were thought to be heading towards Stansted airport. They had passports and a 'holiday kit' containing clothes, the report said.  

"Armed officers had to consider the possibility that men were using traditional Muslim dress as a disguise," the report quoted a security source as saying. The report quoted an eyewitness as saying that 'they (police) threw the women to the ground and checked them and their luggage. I think they were worried about bombs. They were telling people to get away.'

The women were driven to Paddington Green police station, Central London - where their partners are also being held.  They were arrested and interviewed by police probing the failed July 21 bombings.

The women were questioned for several hours about their relationships. Officers, deciding they were not suspects, released them later. "They are being treated as witnesses rather than suspects," a security source said about the incident.

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