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Counter-terrorism officers arrested three men in separate operations in London

A house in Wingate Road, Ilford, east London, where police arrested people in connection with the London Bridge terror attack Picture: Dominic Harris/PA
By Press Association Reporters

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A terror suspect was "dragged" from a house by armed police and a gym where one of the terrorists worked out was searched as detectives investigating the London Bridge attack continued to focus on east London.

Counter-terrorism officers arrested two men in a street and another man in a separate raid on a house in Ilford, east London, late on Wednesday night, Scotland Yard said.

The first man (27) was detained on suspicion of the preparation of terrorist acts, while the second (33) was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs.

The third man (29) was also arrested on suspicion of the preparation of terrorist acts and all three have been taken for questioning while detectives search the residential address and a business premises.

Ilford, which is near Barking, has become the focus of the inquiry after it emerged that terrorists Khuram Butt and Youssef Zaghba had links to the area and there have been a series of raids in the wake of the attack.

Following the latest operation, residents in Wingate Road, south Ilford, described how armed police flooded the quiet residential street at around 10.20pm on Wednesday.

They saw a man dragged from a house and arrested while armed officers led three women out to a neighbouring garden and told them to keep their heads down.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "I looked out and saw just loads of armed police officers balaclava'd up. There were about 10 of them and loads of unmarked cars arriving."

The neighbour said the road was cordoned off and went into "lockdown".

He added: "There was a male arrested, but I don't know who that was.

"I do believe from hearing other neighbours he was quite rough handled in his arrest, and dragged across the road.

"All I saw was him getting put into an unmarked vehicle."

The neighbour said he believed a "south Asian Muslim" family live at the address.

Forensics officers were seen carrying boxes into the property in Wingate Road, which is a street away from the Ummah Fitness Centre, where the Times said the three London Bridge terrorists were filmed outside five days before the attack.

Butt, one of the men who carried out Saturday's atrocity, worked out at the gym in St Luke's Avenue, which was raided overnight and eyewitnesses reported that computer equipment had been taken away.

The road was cordoned off as plain-clothes officers were seen going in and out of the building, which is in a small parade of shops, as others searched underneath cars.

The latest arrests follow the detention of a 30-year-old man as detectives raided an address in Ilford in the early hours of Wednesday.

As the fallout from the atrocity continued, all eight people killed in the massacre were identified, while a further 10 victims remain in a critical condition.

And a British Transport Police officer stabbed in the eye while confronting the knifemen with only his baton is said to be "seriously unwell" in hospital.

In a statement, he said: "I want to say sorry to the families that lost their loved ones. I'm so sorry I couldn't do more and I want you to know I did everything I could."

Earlier, footage emerged online appearing to show the moment armed police gunned down the three knife-wielding terrorists.

In the CCTV, the trio can be seen rushing at a passing pedestrian near Borough Market, raining down a series of blows while police cars approach.

Police marksmen are charged as they train their guns on the attackers, with one knifeman, who appears to be Butt, swinging his weapon wildly towards an officer.

A volley of gunfire in unleashed during the melee and all three perpetrators are felled within seconds, the footage shows, eight minutes after the emergency services were first called.

During the confrontation, brave passers-by can be seen throwing missiles in the direction of the gang and their last victim is shown stumbling away at the end of the clip.

Butt wore an Arsenal shirt and a fake suicide belt during his bloody spree and was later pictured sprawled on the concrete outside the Wheatsheaf pub.

On Wednesday, his family said they were "shocked and appalled" by his actions.

The ex-partner of Redouane also spoke of her shock at discovering he had inflicted the outrage on the capital.

Charisse O'Leary, who has a young daughter by Redouane, said she has "shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrific incident".

Controversy over the UK's counter-terror efforts spread to border security after claims emerged Italian national Zahgba was let into the country despite being on a security watch list.

Zaghba, aged 22 and of Moroccan descent, is said to have been stopped by Italian officers while trying to travel to Syria last year and added to an international database of alerts about individuals, to which the UK has access.

He was said to have been working at a Pakistani restaurant in Ilford in the run-up to the attack.

Questions remain over the extent to which the terror gang were known to security services have been mounting since it was revealed Butt had been investigated in 2015.

Butt, who was reported for extremism in Britain and appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about jihadists, was known to police and MI5 but there was "no intelligence" he was planning an attack, while Scotland Yard said Redouane was not known to authorities.

With cordons lifted around the site of the atrocity, Transport for London was forced to apologise after traffic wardens issued parking tickets to cars trapped in the crime scene since Saturday night.

A young man who recently joined the gym said Butt - who is believed to have occasionally helped out at the fitness centre - looked troubled in the weeks leading up to the attack.

The man, who asked not to be named, told reporters that Butt had enrolled him at the gym around three weeks ago and would normally be friendly, greeting him when he arrived for sessions.

He said: "He was a good person, he was very friendly with people.

"He was very quiet as well, he was not speaking with strangers. He speaks only with his guys, people with robes."

The young man said he did not ever recall Butt speaking about religion in the gym.

But he said: "I last saw him two weeks ago. Sometimes when you spoke with him he would not respond to you, he was blank.

"The first time I saw him in the gym he was not like that, he was normal. But after a couple of days he was worried about something, but I don't know about what.

"When I spoke with him he wasn't responding."

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