'We’ve never had something like this happen here before'

A police officer on patrol outside the Fat Olive restaurant
A police officer on patrol outside the Fat Olive restaurant

A Wigan restaurant owner has spoken of the moment police swooped on a terror suspect.

The town centre was on lockdown yesterday as undercover officers made what was the fifth arrest in the investigation into the Manchester bombing.

Witnesses have said a man was tackled to the ground in Upper Dicconson Street after he was seen with a suspicious package.

Soufiane Hamdadou, the owner of nearby restaurant Fat Olive, said he saw police with machine guns and covered faces on the street at about 3pm.

He said: “I heard shouting and screaming and looked out of the window and saw a man getting wrestled down to the ground.

“It was undercover police and they were armed with balaclavas on.

“They circled the man and took him away.

“The man had a red bag and the police sealed off the whole area and moved the bag to the other side of the road.

“A man in a white forensics suit was looking at it and then I think they took the bag away.”

Mr Hamdadou said he has not seen the arrested man before, and added: “We’ve never had something like this happen here before - hopefully it’s a one-off.”

Some residents reported seeing a bomb disposal unit on the scene.

Joanne McKnight, 46, said she returned to her home on Dicconson Street, off Upper Dicconson Street, just before 4pm and found it cordoned off.

She said: “The police escorted us back to the house and told us to stay inside until things started clearing.”

The police cordon was removed at about 7pm.

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