Liverpool Police Investigate Taxi Explosion As Terrorist Act

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Police in Liverpool, in the north of England, said that a taxi bomb explosion on Sunday (14) is being investigated as a terrorist act, although the motivation for the attack is still unclear.

A bomb carried by a passenger engulfed the burning vehicle outside a hospital in the English city, just before a religious ceremony on the occasion of Remembrance Day, when the country commemorates those killed in the war.

The passenger was the only one to die in the explosion. Police say they know his identity, but that they are still unable to divulge it.

“Our investigations indicate that an improvised explosive device was manufactured, and our assumption so far is that it was built by the taxi passenger,” said Russ Jackson, the local anti-terrorist police chief.

According to Jackson, there are still no elements that prove the connection between the explosion and Remembrance Day, but this is a hypothesis that has not been ruled out.

Four men, aged between 20 and 29, were arrested on Sunday and this Monday (15). The reason for the arrests remains unclear, but they resulted from a series of searches at various addresses, among which Jackson said that “significant items” were found, without giving details.

Police said the passenger had boarded the taxi at a point in Liverpool that is ten minutes from the hospital where he asked to be taken. The explosion occurred inside the car as the vehicle approached the disembarkation point in front of the medical unit.

The driver, who was injured but managed to escape the burning taxi, received medical treatment and has since been discharged. In an interview with BBC British radio, the mayor of Liverpool described the actions of the taxi driver — who was not identified — as heroic.

According to Joanne Anderson, he managed to lock the passenger inside the vehicle before the explosion. “The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, managed to prevent what could have been an absolutely terrible disaster at the hospital,” said the mayor.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also praised the taxi driver’s “incredible presence of mind and bravery”. The prime minister is also expected to chair a meeting of the British government’s emergency committee on Monday to discuss the circumstances of the explosion.

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