March 13, 2018 01:18:35by

Woman arrested after 'huge bang' heard during police raid in Manchester

Woman arrested after \'huge bang\' heard during police raid in Manchester

A woman has been arrested in connection with the Manchester Arena suicide bombing following an armed raid on a block of flats in Blackley, in the north of the city, Greater Manchester Police said.

A “huge bang” was heard as police raided the flats on Wednesday and witnesses described seeing special forces officers swoop on the address. 

Residents said they heard what sounded like an explosion and saw a “huge police presence.”

Resident Alex Finnie described seeing a woman with dark hair and wearing a blue shirt with her hands cuffed behind her back pressed up against a window.

He said: "When the bang went I heard screaming and shouting and then they took the woman out.

"She was facing this way out the window and a couple of minutes later two armed police took her away.

"After the first one I heard loud banging on another door but on the same floor."

The woman was driven away in a police van, he said, adding that armed police were preventing residents from accessing the twelfth floor.

"There was about 30 people on the street - they said there's been an explosion at the flats, a bomb or explosion," resident Chris Barlow said. 

"There's CTU (counter terrorism unit) special forces - I spoke to one officer and they said they blew the door in and took a couple of people away."

James Mooney, 27, said his sister was inside her flat on the twelfth floor and had not been in touch since the "bang" sounded at around 6.50pm.

"I was on the phone to her," he said. "There was a big bang and she went 'oh no' and she dropped her phone or something."

The Mooney family have been unable to get hold of the 34-year-old but said police did not appear to think there was reason for them to worry.

"I told them my daughter is in there and they just said they would update us in a bit," her father John Mooney, 53, said.

Police remain posted outside the building, with officers only allowing residents to access the last stretch of road leading to the block.

Greater Manchester Police said: "This evening searches have been carried out in Blackley. These searches are connected to Monday's horrific attack. A woman has been arrested at an address in connection with the investigation."

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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