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UK police issue photo of Manchester bomber

Press Association logoPress Association 26/05/2017

British police have released a photograph of Salman Abedi on the night he killed 22 people in a suicide bomb attack in Manchester and say they believe an apartment in the city centre was where he put together his device.

"We know one of the last places Abedi went was the city centre flat and from there he left to make his way to the Manchester Arena," Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and Neil Basu, Senior National Coordinator UK Counter Terrorism Policing said in a joint statement on Saturday.

"The flat is highly relevant as a location which we believe may be the final assembly place for the device."

Hopkins and Basu said they had gathered significant information about Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton born to Libyan parents, how his bomb was built, his associates, finances, the places he had been and the wider conspiracy.

However, police needed any information the public might have about his movements from May 18 when he returned to Britain.

They said the investigation was not slowing, with some 1000 officers involved, and the priority was to determine if more people were involved in planning the attack.

Britain on Saturday lowered its security threat level to "severe" following significant activity by police investigating the suicide bomb attack on a pop concert in Manchester on Monday night.

Police said on Saturday that overnight they had made two further arrests as they closed in on other possible cell members.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the independent body which sets the threat level had decided it should be lowered from its highest rating "critical", which meant an attack could be imminent, to "severe".

"A significant amount of police activity has taken place over the last 24 hours and there are now 11 suspects in custody," May said.

"The public should be clear about what this means. A threat level of severe means an attack is highly likely. The country should remain vigilant."

The threat assessment has now been returned to the level it was at prior to the attack in Manchester, northwest England, and means soldiers who have been assisting police, would be withdrawn from Britain's streets from midnight on Monday.

As well as killing 22 people, including seven children, Monday's blast injured 116 with 63 still in hospital and 20 in critical care.

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