Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 15:04 UK

Blast families returning to homes

Andrew Ibrahim
Police have been granted a further seven days to question Mr Ibrahim

Many families evacuated after police carried out controlled explosions in their cul-de-sac have been allowed to return to their homes in Bristol.

Bomb disposal experts carried out three controlled explosions at the home of Andrew Ibrahim, 19, who has been held under the Terrorism Act since Thursday.

Most of the 30 people who had to leave their Westbury-on-Trym homes on Thursday, returned on Sunday.

Mr Ibrahim, a Muslim convert, can be held by police for seven days.

His most immediate neighbours spent Sunday night away from home.

The displaced residents had to spend the first night of their stay away from home in a local school and at the homes of Neighbourhood Watch members.

And 14 people were given hotel accommodation for two more nights.

This is obviously a very difficult time for the Muslim community in Bristol
Farooq Siddique, Bristol Muslim leader

A spokesman for Bristol City Council said those staying in hotels would not be asked to foot the bill.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said that there should be a phased return for residents over the course of the week.

'Peace and harmony'

Once all of those who had to leave their homes have been allowed to return, police will begin house-to-house inquiries.

The first detonation was carried out on Friday, and the second and third on Saturday, once more sandbags had been delivered.

About 14 homes were evacuated on Thursday ahead of the blasts, and another 40 to 50 people had to leave their homes temporarily on Saturday morning.

On Saturday the Council of Bristol Mosques, which represents eight of the 10 mosques in Bristol and more than 30,000 Muslims, firmly rejected any links with terrorism.

The council said in a statement: "The Council of Bristol Mosques condemns all forms of terrorism and its facets.

"We stress that we stand alongside the authorities in Bristol to keep extremism out and we continue to support and promote peace, harmony and transparency for the best interest of Bristolians."

Recent convert

Mr Ibrahim, who moved into the area three weeks ago, is understood to have recently converted to Islam.

He was arrested after covert inquiries prompted by an intelligence tip-off.

Inspector Mark Jackson on keeping the community informed

Police said he lived alone but did not own the house. He had had previous contact with police.

Local Muslim leader Farooq Siddique said Ibrahim was a British Muslim. But he said he was "not known" to Bristol's Muslim community.

He said: "This is obviously a very difficult time for the Muslim community in Bristol. It is a blow to community relationships in the city.

"We want the police to be allowed to do their jobs as simply and as quickly as possible. We need to be united in this."

Police said the materials blown up in the blasts would be analysed as part of a "long and complex" investigation.

It was too early to say whether further arrests would be made, they said.


SEE ALSO
Residents 'shocked' after arrest
18 Apr 08 |  Bristol/Somerset

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