The bomb squad has been called to Wigan as part of the investigation into the Manchester Arena attack, as police evacuated people from their homes in the town for the second time in five days.
Police are searching a house on Springfield Street in the Swinley suburb of Wigan, which is less than an hour from Manchester, where Libyan-heritage suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, grew up and prepared his attack.
“There is a cordon in place and we are asking people to avoid the area”, Greater Manchester Police said in a statement, confirming the searches in Wigan were “in relation to Monday’s attack on Manchester Arena”.
As the bomb squad arrived in the area, some residents were evacuated from their homes whilst others were given the option to stay indoors, Wigan Today reports.
Bomb squad arriving in Wigan just moments ago pic.twitter.com/bJEyZqMKJ1
— WiganToday (@WigToday) May 30, 2017
Residents were also evacuated from their homes on Springfield Street and the surrounding area on Thursday evening after the discovery of “potentially suspicious items”. A man was also arrested in the town on suspicion of terrorism.
Police have made dozens of arrests around the country as they close in on Mr. Abedi’s terror “network” and in Libya, the father and brother of the bomber are also in detention.
It has also emerged that investigators are scouring a local landfill site in a bid to track down evidence in the case. At least four police vans were spotted at the Viridor Waste Management site off the M66 early Monday evening.
Helicopter above, plenty of police surrounding Springfield Street, Wigan pic.twitter.com/LgCcgw4r6w
— Joe Thomas (@joe_thomas18) May 30, 2017
Police have appealed for information on the final movements of the bomber and released pictures of him with a distinctive blue suitcase before the attack.
Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: “Did you see Abedi with this suitcase between the 18th and 22nd of May? Where did you see him with it during that time?
“You may have seen him in the Wilmslow Road area or Manchester city centre with the suitcase or know where the suitcase has been.
“If you have any details about the suitcase we need you to get in touch and let us know. We have no reason to believe the case and its contents contain anything dangerous but would ask people to be cautious.
“The public should not approach the case if they see it but contact police immediately on 999.”