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UK police raid home in hunt for train bomber, hours after 'significant' arrest

Police forensics officers works alongside an underground tube train at a platform at Parsons Green underground tube station in west London on September 15, 2017
Adrian DENNIS (AFP)
Police raid home south west of London, say 'keeping an open mind' about additional potential suspects

An 18 year-old man was arrested on Saturday in connection with the bombing of a London train a day earlier that was claimed by Islamic State and left 30 people hospitalized, police said.

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd called the arrest "very significant", and added that operations related to the investigation of the attack are "ongoing".

The 1suspect was arrested in the port area of the southern town of Dover, where ferries depart for Europe under section 41 of the Terrorism Act -- which means the arrest was made without a warrant. He is to be transferred to a south London police station for questioning.

Police later revealed that a number of items were found during a search in the Dover area, and that the city's port was partially evacuated during the arrest.

Police added that they were "keeping an open mind" about whether there may have been additional potential suspects linked to the attack.

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Hours after the arrest, armed police carried out an operation at a residential address in Surrey, south west of London, in connection to the attack probe.

Nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution and taken to a nearby rugby club and community center for temporary accommodation, Sky News reported.

The network said that the home raided by anti-terror police belonged to British couple Penelope Jones, 71, and Ronald Jones, 88 who have fostered a number of child-refugees over the years and who have been honored for their work with the refugee community.

Police described the planting of an apparent improvised explosive device, which exploded on a train at the Parsons Green station in West London at 8.20am local time on Friday, as a "terror incident".

HO (@sylvainpennec/AFP)

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that it was "good fortune" that the device did "so little damage."

Police revealed on Friday that the device, which was fitted with a timer, had only partially detonated.

The improvised device appeared to be fashioned inside a bucket which was carried in a supermarket freezer bag.

In an initial statement several hours after the blast posted by its propaganda arm Amaq, IS said a "detachment" of its group planted the bomb.

The group later released a longer statement claiming they had placed "several explosive devices" and had only detonated one of them on Friday, wounding "30 Crusaders". The communique added that "what is coming is more devastating and bitter," according to a translation by the SITE intelligence group.

The declaration came just moments before UK prime minister Theresa May announced the national terror threat level would be upped to the highest possible category, critical, which means "an attack is expected imminently". She added that troops would be deployed to key locations in the capital.

Police said on Saturday that the terror threat level would remain in place for the time being.

This is a developing story.

Read more: Witnesses describe 'wall of fire', stampede as explosion hits London train

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