Anti-terror police surround West London flat
By Jenny Booth, Times Online

Armed police outside the flat in West London today

Police hunting the three missing July 21 bombers have surrounded to a flat in West London after a series of small explosions.

Lisa Davies, an Australian woman, told Sky News that she could see two armed police pointing their guns and shouting at a flat on one of the top floors of Block E of the Peabody Trust housing estate on Dalgarno Gardens, in North Kensington, near Wormwood Scrubs prison.

She said that the block only had one entrance and that whoever was inside the flat was cornered. More police officers had run up to cover all the roads around the block, so far as she could see.

"They are telling Mohammed to come out with his clothes off and show himself," she said. "They have their guns pointed up and they have been telling him for about 20 minutes to get his clothes off and get down. They keep assuring him that if they do what they say and come out he will be alright. It is pretty nerve-wracking."

Ms Davies said that the name "Mohammed" was the only name being used by the police, although they had yelled questions whether anyone else was inside the block.

Reporters on the scene said that it was unclear whether the loud bangs were controlled explosions by a bomb disposal team, which was seen arriving at the scene, or whether they were gunshots or the sound of stun grenades being used.

The area is near Little Wormwood Scrubs recreation ground, close to where a bomb was found discarded after the July 21 attacks, raising fears of a fifth potential bomber who had decided not to go through with his attack.

Only one of the bomb suspects who tried to set off devices on three Tube trains and a bus has been caught. There was an unconfirmed report that one arrest had been made in

A Metropolitan Police statement said: "We can confirm that an armed operation is currently in progress in the W10 area in connection with ongoing enquiries into the incidents on July 21. This operation is in its very early stages. Cordons are in place as a precaution."

The multi-cultural area, where many people of North African and Caribbean origin live, is the site of the Notting Hill Carnival on the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August.

A man who lives in a block of flats nearby told Sky News: "The first thing I heard was what sounded like a very loud controlled explosion.

"A policeman told me to get to the back of the building and so I stayed in the bathroom for 15 minutes.

"Eventually I came out and heard six loud explosions that I was told were stun grenades. There were a lot of people running away down the road in panic.

"The noise I heard at first was an extremely loud bang, quite different from the six volleys after which weren't nearly as loud."