Students and residents have been evacuated from their homes and shops and businesses are closed as a 100-metre cordon is put in place around a suspicious vehicle in Rusholme, following last week’s terror attack in Manchester
Homes and businesses around the Rusholme Place area of Rusholme have been evacuated as police continue to investigate ‘significant’ developments relating to “the movements of Salman Abedi” prior to last week’s terror attack at Manchester Arena, which killed 22 people and left more than 100 injured.
A 100-metre cordon is in place around a white Nissan Micra parked at Devell House on Oxford Place, which police are “assessing” and which is believed to be suspicious. Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said that the vehicle “is potentially a significant development in the investigation”.
A source told the Manchester Evening News that the vehicle “could be booby trapped, so the approach is cautious and the bomb squad will then be in to look at it. But they won’t come in until the evacuation is complete.”
The bomb squad were in the area for several hours, but are reported to have been seen leaving the immediate vicinity at around 5.30pm. Police are also raiding a house on nearby Banff Road, and forensics officers have been seen in the area.
University of Manchester students living in halls and rented accommodation in the area have been evacuated from their homes, as well as hundreds of people who have been evacuated from shops and businesses in the area, including the Ford Madox Brown Wetherspoons’ and Lidl on Oxford Road, which are now closed.
The Ronald McDonald House on Hathersage Road has also been evacuated.
Police are advising residents and passers-by to avoid the area, and the University of Manchester has advised all students who have been affected by the evacuations to make their way to the Owens Park campus.
In a statement online, the university said: “If you have been asked to leave your accommodation as a result of the ongoing police incident in Rusholme please go to Owens Park in Fallowfield. Staff will be on hand to provide more information or follow the updates from @gmpolice.”
One University of Manchester student who lives on Oxney Road, next to Devell House, said, “we are all unable to access the house,” and that they “were just told to stay away for the next few hours” by police.
Another University of Manchester student described a “heavy” police presence in the area. Twitter user @molliewalker_x tweeted: “Loads of police present in Rusholme. Thank you to @gmpolice for so much hard work over the last 2 weeks”.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have asked anyone with information about the car to come forward: “We are very interested in anything people can tell us about the movements of this car, and who was in it, over the past months.
“We are also interested in any information about who may have had access to the car or who may have gone to and from it.”
GMP confirmed yesterday that they still have 10 people in custody on suspicion of offences contrary to the Terrorism Act, and that six people have been released without charge.
Anyone with information relating to the investigation is asked to call the Anti-Terrorism Hotline in confidence at 0800 789321, and if you have any images or footage that you believe may be helpful to the police, then please upload them to Ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk.