Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 17:53 UK

Attempt to rescue 'car-bomb man'

Mohammed Arif said he did not fear for his safety because he was 'a man of faith'.

A scrapyard owner has told how he tried to free a man he found trapped inside a car apparently packed with explosives.

Mohammed Arif said a colleague spotted the car opposite his yard in Saltley, Birmingham, shortly after arriving for work on Sunday morning.

Mr Arif said he tried to prise the boot open to free the man, who was gagged and had gas cylinders strapped to his chest, before police officers arrived.

Police believe the man, who was freed after seven hours, had been kidnapped.

Mr Arif said he was unable to open the boot and was planning to smash the windscreen when officers stopped him.

Seven-hour ordeal

He said he decided to try to free the man because "if he was going to explode he would have exploded by now".

He said two people on the other side of the street had called out for him to stand back in case the car exploded but he was not afraid for his safety because he was "a man of faith".

The car being taken away from the scene
The man was freed following a seven-hour ordeal

He said: "I think you are in the earth to do good and I think God is with you so I wouldn't worry about that."

He said the man, who police said is of Asian appearance and in his 30s, also had his hands and legs bound.

He was eventually safely released from the car after a seven-hour ordeal and taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.

No explosives were found, although gas canisters had been stored inside the car doors.

Several homes were evacuated and trains passing through Birmingham New Street Station were delayed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Midlands Police or call Crimestoppers.

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