Bomb explodes in Exeter, UK

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Devon, in which Exeter is located, shown on a map of England
Image: Keith Edkins and Morwen on Wikipedia.

Police in the United Kingdom are investigating after a bomb exploded in an Exeter restaurant at about 1250 BST. One person (believed by police to be the bomber) was injured, and a second device was found and made safe nearby. The suspect has been named as 22-year-old Nicky Reilly from Plymouth. He has been arrested and taken to hospital.

The centre of the city was evacuated by police until about 1900 Local Time (UTC+1).

Chief Constable Stephen Otter from Devon and Cornwall Police commented on the incident. He claimed that "the injured man had one of the explosive devices on him, which partially went off," and that "the other [explosive], in the vicinity of the restaurant, did not go off."

Otter also reported collaboration between police forces. "The Devon and Cornwall force was working with the Metropolitan Police as we do with any explosion where we cannot understand why it happened."

He refused to speculate on whether it was terrorism. "I would not say anything about terrorism at this stage because I do not know."

The deputy chief constable of the police force said that the suspected bomber had been "preyed upon, radicalised and taken advantage of." Police say that Reilly, who had a history of mental illness, had recently converted to the Islamic faith.