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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 June 2006, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Police terror shooting questioned
Mohammed Abdulkahar being moved for questioning
Mohammed Abdul Kahar has left hospital

There are conflicting reports over the shooting of a man during Friday's anti-terrorism raid in east London.

Mohammed Abdulkahar, 23, is at Paddington Green police station for questioning after hospital treatment.

His lawyer insisted he was shot in the shoulder by police in the Forest Gate raid on Friday. Police have not confirmed they fired the shot.

One report suggests his brother Abul Koyair shot him. Both are under arrest and deny involvement in terrorism.

The News of the World, quoting a Whitehall source, claims Mr Abdulkahar was shot accidentally by his 20-year-old brother, who is being held at Paddington Green police station.

The source said the gun had gone off in a scuffle, and that police officers were "adamant" that they did not pull the trigger.

Denies shooting

But solicitor Julian Young, who represents Mr Koyair, said there was "no truth" in reports his client was responsible for the gunshot.

He said of events during the raid: "He said he did not struggle, did not cause his brother to be shot and did not shoot his brother."

Julian Young and Kate Roxburgh
The brothers' solicitors said their clients were innocent

Mr Abdulkahar's solicitor had assured him "there is no question of the fact that the police fired the gun", he added.

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Daniel Sandford said there was confusion over the shooting, partly because the only official statement - from the head of the anti-terrorist branch, Peter Clarke - did not say police shot the man.

The Metropolitan Police have never said a warning was given - the statement said only that a 23-year-old man had received a gunshot wound.

Since it became a source of speculation in Sunday's newspapers, they have not clarified who fired the gun.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said it was inappropriate for them to comment while the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into the incident was under way.

'Absolute nonsense'

Mr Abdulkahar's solicitor Kate Roxburgh said one of the 250 police officers involved in the raid was responsible for firing the shot.

"He was woken up about four in the morning by screams from downstairs, got out of bed in his pyjamas obviously unarmed, nothing in his hands and hurrying down the stairs."

Her client, whom she said was innocent, was shot "without any warning, at close range" as he came down the stairs, she added.

"He wasn't asked to freeze, given any warning and didn't know the people in his house were police officers until after he was shot," she added.

She said Mr Abdulkahar was "lucky still to be alive" and reports he was shot by his brother were "absolute nonsense".

POLICE SHOOTING GUIDELINES
Police officers can shoot "to stop an imminent threat to life"
A firearms officer should identify themselves and give an oral warning of intent to shoot
Officers should not fire warning shots except in "most serious and exceptional" circumstances
Shots should be aimed at the central body mass
The Operation Kratos [shoot-to-kill] policy allows officers to shoot at the head without warning if they believe the suspect may detonate a bomb
Kratos does not require police to see a "suicide jacket" before opening fire

Meanwhile, police are continuing to conduct an extensive search of the terraced house in Lansdown Road following intelligence that suggested there was a "viable" chemical device in the property.

The search could continue for a few days.

According to BBC home affairs correspondent Margaret Gilmore, police do not believe it would be a sophisticated bomb, but a homemade device.

Mr Koyair's solicitor said his client "denies any involvement in the commission, preparation, or instigation of terrorist offences".

After a closed court hearing in central London - at which police were given permission to hold both men until Wednesday - the solicitor said his client would be interviewed by officers again on Sunday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said Friday's operation was planned in response to "specific intelligence".

Sense of proportion

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said ministers were being kept informed of the situation but refused to comment on the details.

Security sources told the BBC that the potentially fatal device thought to be in the house could produce casualty figures in double or even triple figures.

But the operation has angered some locals, prompting a leaflet to be circulated announcing a meeting to discuss the raid.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the outgoing head of the Muslim Council of Britain, said he had had discussions with police "at the highest level", who had assured him that the operation in Forest Gate was intelligence-led.

He said the facts needed to be established about the suspected threat posed, but added that a sense of "proportionality" was important in such investigations and he could see why the use of about 250 police officers had angered locals.




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