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Theresa May lowers terror threat level in UK but armed soldiers to remain on streets

A total of 11 people remain in custody as part of investigations into the Manchester attack.

Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Updated 12.13pm

PRIME MINISTER THERESA May has reduced the threat level in the UK from critical to severe.

It means that, instead of an attack being imminent, the current level means an attack is “highly likely”. The news comes after reports of more arrests in Manchester in relation to the terror attack.

The military will still be deployed to key sites until Monday, which is a bank holiday in the UK.

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

In light of these developments, JTAC – the joint terrorism analysis centre – has taken the decision to reduce the level from critical to severe.

Police in Manchester arrested two more people overnight in connection with last Monday’s terror attack.

Greater Manchester Police said that it used a controlled explosion to access an address in Cheetham Hill, in the north inner city.

Men aged 22 and 20 were arrested on suspicion of offences against the terrorism act.

These arrests bring the total number to 13 since the launch of the investigation following Monday’s attack.

Two were released without charge, while 11 remain in custody.

Speaking yesterday, the head of the UK’s counter-terrorism police said that a “large part” of the network linked to Manchester bomber Salman Abedi had been identified.

Police believe they have “got hold of a large part of the network,” Mark Rowley said, adding that there had been “immense” progress in the investigation.

Also speaking last night, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said it had been a “challenging” week.

He said: “Through such a difficult time, we have seen the best from the people of Manchester, who have come together to support each other since the horrific events on Monday night.

I have been inspired by their determination, compassion and solidarity that characterises this diverse city.

Security is set to be very tight at a number of events across the UK today, with more than 30,000 runners expected for the Great Manchester Run.

Thousands of armed police are also expected to be out in force in London today for the FA Cup final in Wembley between Arsenal and Chelsea, and the Premiership Rugby Final in Twickenham.

Read: Police have arrested a ‘large part’ of Manchester bomber’s network

Read: ‘We won’t let hate win’ – Ariana Grande’s powerful statement in response to terror attack

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Sean Murray

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