UK reduces terror threat level from 'critical' to 'imminent'

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Britain on Saturday lowered the terror threat level which was hiked after this week's carnage in Manchester as police pushed forward with their investigation, arresting two more people.

The latest arrests took place early on Saturday with police detaining two men, aged 20 and 22, in north Manchester. Police used an explosive device to get into a property to make the arrests.

Police say they are now holding 11 suspects in custody.

The level was raised to "critical" after Monday's bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which left 22 people dead.

Armed police patrol past tribute pink ribbons on a tree in central Manchester, England Friday May 26 2017.

The change indicates an attack is highly likely but not imminently expected.

Rowley, however, said there were still "gaps in our understanding" of the plot, and that there will be "more arrests and more searches" linked to the Manchester attack.

"Our priorities are to understand the run-up to this bad event and to understand if more people were involved in planning this attack".

Eleven people are now in custody in the United Kingdom in connection with the attack by Abedi, who was of Libyan origin but born in Manchester.

There are 14 locations that are still being searched and 13 people that have been arrested on suspicion of offences contrary to the Terrorism Act.

Armed police officers and soldiers were deployed at soccer matches, concerts and other big events.

Investigators were searching several homes, including that of Abedi in south Manchester and other houses in nearby districts on Saturday.

"Everyone's just anxious, no matter where they are, it's scary stuff", Moss Side resident David Bailey, 29, told AFP after Saturday's police raids on a neighbourhood notorious for gangland violence. Photos showed an army bomb-disposal unit at the property. Mohammed El-Hudarey, a friend of the landlord, said after Abedi moved out about six weeks ago there was a strong smell of chemicals and debris, including metal rods and cut-up fabric.

Britain's health service said Saturday that 63 people injured in the bombing remained hospitalized, 20 of them in critical condition.

However, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the United Kingdom police chief for counter-terrorism, advised people to be vigilant but to "go out as you planned and enjoy yourselves".

Manchester slowly returned to normal, though the damaged arena and adjacent Victoria train station remained closed.

The attack, which has been claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, targeted concertgoers at the end of a show by U.S. teen pop idol Ariana Grande. "We will not quit or operate in fear. We won't let hate win".

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