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Policeman dies in anti-terrorism raid.

Byline: Ashley Broadley

A POLICE officer was stabbed to death and four others were injured last night during the arrest of three terrorist suspects in an operation linked to last week's discovery of the deadly poison ricin.

The officer died as three suspects were arrested at a flat in Crumpsall, north Manchester. Greater Manchester Assistant Chief Constable Alan Green said the 40-year-old plain clothes constable died of stab wounds at North Manchester General Hospital after receiving emergency treatment at the scene.

At a press briefing at the scene of the incident, Mr Green said: ``I am sorry to announce that a Greater Manchester Police officer has been killed in the course of his duty this afternoon.''

Mr Green said the officers had arrived at the flat to detain a man under terrorist legislation and when they arrived the suspect was with two other males.

He said: ``It appears one of the men attacked the officer with a weapon.'' Mr Green said he believed the weapon was a large kitchen knife. Police said four other officers, including a detective inspector, a sergeant and two constables, were injured. Three were stabbed and another was believed to have a broken ankle. Mr Green said: ``I am unable to give details of the counter-terrorist operation but I can confirm that it is connected to those led by the Metropolitan Police in recent days.'' He confirmed that the operation was connected with the discovery of the deadly poison ricin in north London and a forensic examination was being carried out at the scene. He said: ``We have sealed the premises and clearly public safety is paramount but there is nothing to indicate anything of that nature is there.'' Mr Green added: ``This tragic has clearly shocked colleagues at Greater Manchester Police. ``Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the officer who has been killed.''

The incident took place in Crumpsall Road near the junction of Crumpsall Lane and Middleton Road. A police spokeswoman said three men were arrested during the counter terrorist raid. They are understood to be in their 20s. Immigration officials were with the police officers but none of them was injured.

The road where the incident took place was cordoned off and the building where the operation was carried out had all its curtains drawn.

The three-storey Victorian semi is split into several separate apartments, police said.

The leafy suburban street north of Manchester is normally a quiet area, said residents. One resident said: ``It's shocking something like this has refused to give any details about the raid and would say only: `` The arrests are part of ongoing inquiries. ''Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: ``This evening's tragedy reminds us of the regular danger faced by all those on the front line of the campaign against terrorism.

``Our support and solidarity goes to the officers of Greater Manchester. ``But we must not be deflected from the pursuit of those who try by violence to undermine democracy. ``The best response is sorrow and anger but followed by determination and renewed commitment to the rule of law.'' Manchester resident Rachel Carr, 24, who lives near the crime scene, said some parts of Crumpsall Road were pleasant, but other areas had gained a bad reputation following a recent spate of robberies and other incidents.

She said: ``There's a lot of asylum seekers and many of the houses are known to house drug addicts..'' Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: ``We have a high proportion of North African immigrants in this area.''

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CRIME SCENE: Forensic officers outside the house in Crumpsall last night
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 15, 2003
Words:607
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