Armed police storm Manchester Piccadilly train after Abdul Ezedi ‘sighting’ | UK | News

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Armed police storm Manchester Piccadilly train after Abdul Ezedi ‘sighting’ | UK | News

Armed police rushed to Manchester Piccadilly station after a reported sighting of alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi. The British Transport Police confirmed they were responding to reports of a sighting of Ezedi, who is wanted for a chemical attack on a woman and her two young daughters in Clapham last Wednesday.

He has been on the run since, with police offering a £20,000 reward to anyone who has information that could lead to his arrest. However, the sighting turned out to be a false alarm.

Ezedi, a convicted sex offender who is believed to have travelled from Newcastle on the day of the attack, was allowed to stay in the UK after he had ‘found Christianity’.

A spokesperson for the British Transport Police said: « Officers were called to a train arriving at Manchester Piccadilly railway station just before 10pm on Saturday (February 3) following reports of a sighting of Abdul Ezedi. »

Witnesses said armed officers stormed the busy station on Saturday night and made their way on to a platform where a train was stopped. One person was reportedly restrained and taken away by the police.

One eyewitness told Manchester Evening News that there was a ‘real commotion’ as the train was stormed by armed police. Another passenger said they were left feeling shaken after being asked to move carriages.

They said: « As we were pulling into Manchester Piccadilly station, passengers stood up and were waiting by the doors to disembark. Suddenly we saw that our platform was lined with armed police with rifles. As the train stopped, they were looking into the train for someone.

« We heard someone being restrained. Officers told us to move down the train away from the carriage. Nothing happened for a few moments, then an officer came into our carriage and shouted for the train manager to get the doors open. We were directed up towards platform 14 instead of towards the barriers, where there must have been between 20-30 officers present. I was quite shaken up. »

The hunt for Ezedi, 35, is now in its fifth day. The woman he is alleged to have attacked, who suffered potentially life-changing injuries, was known to him and remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.

The Metropolitan Police said the last sighting of Ezedi, who is from Newcastle, was at 9.33pm at Tower Hill Underground station in east London on January 31, shortly after the attack in Clapham. A former senior police officer has suggested he may have taken his own life or be using an ally to stay hidden.

Nick Aldworth, a former national counter-terrorism co-ordinator, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: « I think if we’ve not seen or heard from him in the the last couple of days, which appears to be the case, he’s gone to ground, possibly supported by somebody… or it’s not unlikely or improbable that he may have taken his own life. There is therefore a body to be found somewhere. »

Mr Aldworth explained that the Met will be using public cameras to track Ezedi’s movements, which has worked well before. He mentioned: « I think they’ll have a very good sense of what area he’s in. »

He also added: « What you can’t discount of course is that he has been picked up by an ally and moved somewhere else, perhaps in a vehicle. The reason they’ve offered a £20,000 reward is usually because there’s a sense that somebody inside the community might well be harbouring this individual. »

On Sunday, it was reported that the suspect used a ‘very strong concentrated corrosive substance’ in his attack. Police believe some people know where Ezedi is but haven’t told them.

The Met has warned that helping him could lead to arrest. There are questions about how Ezedi, who got asylum in the UK after two failed tries and has a sex offence conviction, was allowed to stay in the country.

Police shared that Ezedi left Newcastle early Wednesday, went to London, was in Tooting by 6.30am, seen in Croydon at about 4.30pm, and in Streatham by 7pm.

Ezedi is said to have thrown the younger child to the ground during the attack at 7.25pm, before trying to drive away, crashing into a parked car and running away. He then got on a Tube train at Clapham South Underground station, and by 8pm he was at King’s Cross Tube station.

Three good Samaritans who helped the family during Wednesday’s attack, two in their 30s and one in her 50s, have all left hospital with minor burns.

Anyone with information about Abdul Ezedi is asked to call 020 7175 2784 or for an immediate sighting dial 999.

To remain anonymous, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up the Daily Express editorial research. A Daily Express editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors here.

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