POLICE have launched a manhunt after a chilling and elaborate bomb hoax brought Standish to a standstill at the weekend.
Pages of Arabic scripture were found near the “device” which, a source said, could perhaps indicate the involvement of Islamic extremists or equally someone going out of their way to implicate them falsely.
Officers investigating Saturday’s emergency say they have not ruled out the possibility of the same man being responsible for this and several other incidents across the region. Police and bomb disposal escorts descended on Preston Road at 10.15am following reports of a suspicious package next to recycling containers on the Co-op car park and the area around it was sealed off for several hours.
The army experts eventually declared the package to be safe, but they remained on the scene until early evening. Residents who had been evacuated were allowed to return to their homes at around 4pm.
Greater Manchester Police also confirmed that they think it could be linked to two similar hoax calls in Manchester city centre.
Wigan Chief InspStuart Wrudd, said: “This incident caused disruption to the community of Standish. However we have to put the safety of the public ahead of inconvenience and I would like to thank them all for their patience.
“Anyone with any information is asked to call 0161 856 5307.”