Armed soldiers are to guard “key locations” across London as Britain is on critical terror alert amid fears Manchester attacker Salman Abedi did not act alone.
Scotland Yard has confirmed that troops are being deployed to sites including Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster and embassies.
The military will replace armed police at many locations underOperation Temperer, which is being enacted after security experts warned the Government that another terrorist attack could be imminent.
The authorities are seeking to establish if Abedi, the Manchester suicide bomber who left 22 people dead, was part of a wider network.
Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said on Wednesday that it is “likely” he was not acting alone as she confirmed up to 3,800 troops can be deployed across the UK.
Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the threat level to the highest possible rating, meaning another atrocity is expected. She said a “wider group of individuals” could have been involved in the Manchester Arena blast rather than just Abedi.
Monday night’s attack at a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande left 22 people dead, including an eight-year-old girl, and dozens injured. Click here to read more about the victims.
Twenty people remain in “critical care”, medics said on Wednesday, with people suffering from “horrific injuries” including major organ damage and potential loss of limbs.
The decision to raise Britain’s terror threat level for the first time since 2013 was taken at a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee.
Scotland Yard said the military will be working under Scotland Yard’s command structure to provide “static armed guarding at key locations”. This will free up armed officers to carry out patrols”.
Commander Jane Connors, leading the London policing operation, said: “We will do all we can to protect the capital that we serve at this unsettling time. All our work is designed to make our city as hostile an environment as possible for terrorists to plan and operate.”
Counter-terrorism agencies have mounted a massive inquiry into the outrage – the worst terrorist attack since 52 innocent people were killed in the July 7 bombings in London in 2005.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group claimed responsibility for the barbaric attack, which involved a home-made device packed with nuts and bolts which exploded in the venue’s foyer as thousands of young people were leaving.
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