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Man held by anti-terror police on Merseyside

A general store in Holt Road, Liverpool, with a police van
Image caption A general store in Holt Road, Liverpool, was one of the five addresses raided on Merseyside

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of planning acts of terrorism as police search five addresses on Merseyside.

Officers from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) and Merseyside Police are searching the premises following "intelligence received".

The addresses are in View Road, Rainhill, St Helens; and Prescot Road and Holt Road in Liverpool.

Det Ch Supt Tony Mole from the NWCTU said there was "no current threat".

"We are taking all measures necessary to ensure public safety, which is our primary concern," he said.

"However, it is absolutely vital to stress - and I hope at the same time reassure the public - that there is no current threat or evidence of an imminent attack."

Raids

A restaurant and a flat in Prescot Road, Old Swan, Liverpool, and a general store in Holt Road, Kensington, Liverpool, were among the addresses raided, BBC Merseyside reported.

Police are also standing guard outside Rockland House in View Road, Rainhill, St Helens.

The building, a three-storey former hotel, is down a private driveway and is now used as offices.

Officers said the searches were expected to last several hours and possibly days.

BBC North West Tonight reporter Andy Gill said police towed away a silver Audi car that was parked in Ennismore Road off Prescot Road.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Armitt said officers had initially worn respirators during the searches in case they encountered "noxious substances".

He would not be drawn on the suspect's background, but a force spokesman described him as "local".

"We are not in possession of intelligence that suggests Merseyside is likely to be subject to a terrorist attack at any time in the near future," he said.

Image caption A restaurant and flat in Prescot Road, Liverpool, were raided by officers, BBC Merseyside reported

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