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Five arrested in the UK in connection with Paris, Brussels attacks

UK Police worked with British intelligence services and Belgian and French authorities in the operation.

A man lights a candle at a makeshift memorial at Place de la Bourse (Beursplein) following attacks in Brussels on 22 March, 2016. Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights and European railways froze links with Brussels after a series of bomb blasts killed around 35 people in the city's airport and a metro train, sparking a broad security response. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Five people have been arrested in the United Kingdom (UK) on suspicion of terrorism offences as part of an investigation launched after the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels.

They're the first to be detained in Britain in connection with the atrocities in France and Belgium with insiders saying the arrests are "significant".

Three men, aged between 26 and 59, and a 29-year-old woman, were arrested in Birmingham last night.

A fifth person, a 26-year-old man was arrested at Gatwick Airport early this morning.

UK Police say they worked with British intelligence services and Belgian and French authorities in the operation.

The news comes after reports that Belgian Mohamed Abrini, suspected of involvement in the Isis attacks in Brussels and Paris, had travelled to Birmingham last year and taken photos of a soccer stadium.

Abrini made the trip in July.

This evening a number of homes in the city continue to be searched.

Meanwhile, the Belgian transport minister resigned today after accusations she lied about a European Union (EU) report that criticised security at Brussels Airport a year before last month's Islamic State suicide bombings.

Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Public broadcaster RTBF quoted a spokesman for Michel's centrist MR party saying documents presented late on Thursday showed that Galant's office had indeed been told of the report.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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