British police said armed officers were searching a residence in a London suburb and evacuated neighbors as a precaution as part of the investigation into Friday's subway blast that injured at least 30 people.

Police said the operation was occurring in Sunbury, an area on the southwestern outskirts of the capital and about five miles from London's Heathrow Airport. A no-fly zone was established over the area to keep out small planes and drones as police moved in and police cordons were put in place to keep the public well away.

Earlier, police arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with the attack at the Parsons Green station.

Police said the man was arrested by Kent police in the port area of Dover on the English Channel.

Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu said it was a "significant arrest." He said the investigation was ongoing and the terror threat level remained at "critical."

Basu's comments suggested that other dangerous suspects may still be at large.

The suspect was being held for questioning under the Terrorism Act. He has not been charged or identified. Police have not said if he was suspected of planting the bomb or if he played a supporting role in a possible plot.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was “much too early” to tell if the authorities knew of the suspect in the London subway bombing.

Rudd said the arrest of an 18-year-old suspect was “very significant” and that police were making rapid progress in the investigation.

In this image made from video, fire raises at a southwest London subway station in London Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. London's Metropolitan Police and ambulance services are confirming they are at the scene of "an incident" at the Parsons Green subway station in the southwest of the capital. The underground operator said services have been cut along the line. (@RRIGS via AP) Expand / Collapse

This photo seems to show a bucket with wires hanging out of it that caught on fire. (AP)

Hundreds of officers were examining surveillance footage and conducting other investigations as the nation elevated its terrorism alert system to the highest level, the BBC reported.

Authorities said the suspect carried a white bucket containing an explosive onto the rush-hour train. When it exploded, numerous train riders suffered burns, and others were injured as they rushed away from the area of the blast.

None of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said was carried out by an affiliated unit.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump took heat from British authorities for a tweet he posted in the wake of the attack that seemed to criticize Britain’s security forces.

“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!” the president tweeted.

Forensic investigators search next to a London underground tube at Parsons Green station in London, Britain, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay - RC1D66CC8BA0 Expand / Collapse

Investigators search next to a London underground tube at Parsons Green station in London. (Reuters)

Reuters reported that British Prime Minister Teresa May responded: “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”

Prior to the suspect’s arrest, London was on edge. Images from cameras inside the subway car showed that the device was contained in a bucket with wires hanging out of it and that it was concealed in a plastic shopping bag.

Officials have hinted that more than one person may have been involved.

A woman reacts outside Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC1223D70F10 Expand / Collapse

The subway blast injured at least 30 people. (Reuters)

May said raising the threat level to its highest point was a "proportionate and sensible step." Police called on the public to be vigilant.

The bomb went off around 8:20 a.m. as the train, carrying commuters from the suburbs — including many school children — was at Parsons Green station in the southwest of the city.

The station was reopened Saturday, officials said, restoring some normalcy to London's transport network after a day of severe disruption. There was no sign of panic among Londoners and the weekend life of the city continued undeterred by the raised threat level.

Officials said the bomb was intended to do grave harm to commuters. Analysts said the injuries would have been far worse had the entire device exploded.

"They were really lucky with this one. It could have really become much worse," said terrorism specialist Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish Defense University.

Britain has endured four other attacks this year, which have killed a total of 36 people. The other attacks in London — near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London — used vehicles and knives.

In addition, a suicide bomber struck a packed concert hall in Manchester in northern England, killing 22 people. That attack in May also briefly caused the threat level to be set at "critical."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Original Article


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