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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 15:24 GMT
Police shoot man dead over 'raid'
Scene of the fatal shooting in New Romney
Police said their operation in New Romney had been "proactive"
A man has been shot dead by police officers during an operation to prevent a suspected armed robbery.

The 42-year-old man, who has not been named, died in hospital after the incident at the Nationwide building society in New Romney, Kent on Tuesday.

Three men were arrested as part of the Metropolitan Police operation. No police officers were injured.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has begun an inquiry into the shooting.

An incident like this is very rare, and should be seen in perspective
Chief Constable Michael Fuller
Kent Police
A firearm recovered at the scene was taken away for forensic examination.

The shot man was injured at about 2000 GMT and died later at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Wednesday.

In a statement, Metropolitan Police said the operation had been "proactive" and had been designed to "prevent and apprehend" those believed to be involved in an attempted armed robbery of the building society.

It said that it was not terrorist related.

It is unclear if any money was taken from the building society and a spokesman for Nationwide said the company had no comment.

Resident John Cramp, whose garden backs onto the alleyway where the incident happened, said he heard two "sharp retorts" which he thought were fireworks.

Scene of the fatal shooting in New Romney
Three men were arrested by police as part of the operation

The operation was conducted by detectives from Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, supported by officers from its specialist firearms unit CO19.

One of the police officers involved has been relieved of firearms duties, pending an inquiry.

Kent Police initially launched an investigation into the shooting, but that was taken over by the IPCC.

Kent's Chief Constable, Michael Fuller, visited the scene of the incident on Wednesday morning to reassure residents.

He said people had not been over-awed or intimidated by what had taken place and had been carrying on "business as usual".

"An incident like this is very rare, and should be seen in perspective," he said.

See the scene where the shooting took place

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