A British policeman was stabbed to death and four others were wounded as they raided a house and arrested three terrorist suspects Tuesday in an operation linked to the recent discovery of the deadly poison ricin.
According to police, the raid in the northern city of Manchester was in the framework of an ongoing operation by anti-terrorist officers and was connected with the ricin find in a London apartment earlier this month.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Green said there was no sign of the deadly poison at the site of the raid.
For his part, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a statement he was "shocked and very saddened" by the death of the officer. "His death and the injuries to the other officers involved in this incident underline the dangers that our police and security forces face in these times."
According to AP, Green told reporters that a team of officers and immigration officials intended to arrest a man under counter-terrorism legislation.
Once inside the residence, they found three men of North African origin. Chief Constable Michael Todd said officers had been searching the apartment for around an hour when "one of the suspects managed to get free, get a knife and stab a number of our officers."
The BBC reported that Officer Stephen Oake, aged 40 and father of three, died in hospital from the chest wound. Another was seriously injured with a stab wound to the chest and three received minor injuries, including stab wounds and a broken ankle.
The three suspects, arrested under counter-terrorism legislation, were jailed and are being questioned by anti-terrorism officers. (Albawaba.com)