Two questioned after ‘bomb site’ found outside mosque

A bomb disposal van at outside software company Delcam in Birmingham following the questioning of two Ukrainian men. Picture: PA
A bomb disposal van at outside software company Delcam in Birmingham following the questioning of two Ukrainian men. Picture: PA
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TWO Ukrainian men were being questioned under anti-terror laws last night following the discovery of the site of an explosion near a mosque.

Wolverhampton Central Mosque was evacuated as the “seat of an explosion and debris” were found on a roundabout across the road late on Thursday.

The find was made following the arrest of two men in Small Heath, Birmingham, in connection with blasts close to mosques in Walsall and Tipton.

The men, aged 25 and 22, were being questioned on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Speaking outside the mosque in Wolverhampton yesterday, West Midlands police assistant chief constable Marcus Beale said they believed a device exploded on the Fiveways roundabout at around 9:15am on 28 June, just after rush hour.“As a result of intelligence following the arrest of two men in Birmingham yesterday, we have carried out a detailed forensic search of the Wolverhampton scene. We have discovered it was the scene of an explosion that took place on June 28,” the officer told reporters.

The device, details of which have not been released, is believed to have been planted in the early hours of 28 June.

Police received reports about a “loud bang” and “a puff of smoke” on the day and a normal local response officer was sent. However, the location of the explosion was not discovered until specialist teams investigated on Thursday night, Mr Beale said.

He said officers regarded the incident as part of a wider terrorist investigation into explosions at two other mosques in recent weeks but added: “I have no information to suggest that there are further threats to mosques in our region.”

Iftikhar Ahmed, representing Wolverhampton Central Mosque, said is was “work as normal” at the mosque as it reopened yesterday.

He said: “Of course there are concerns in the community but we have faith in the police and intelligence services that the incidents are being dealt with.

“They already have two suspects in custody and for our community today it is work as normal.”

The two men were arrested in Small Heath, Birmingham at 3pm on Thursday afternoon.

Police would not confirm reports yesterday that the suspects are foreign university students who were working at a software firm, Delcam, in Small Heath. However, bomb disposal officers and members of West Midlands counter-terrorism unit were continuing to search the premises of Delcam yesterday.