Three men have been arrested by counter-terrorism officers following police raids in Bolton and Wigan this evening.

Police swooped at 7.30pm executing four warrants in the Bolton, Great Lever, Abram and Hindley areas.

The men, aged 35, 36 and 51, were arrested at separate locations and have been taken into custody for questioning.

They have been arrested on suspicion of commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism

Scenes remain in place at the four addresses as enquiries are being carried out.

Police say that efforts are being made to minimise disruption to local residents as much as possible.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts, who holds responsibility for counter terrorism policing in the north west, said: “This evening we have executed a number of planned warrants as part of an ongoing counter terrorism investigation.

“Three men have been taken into custody for questioning and scenes remain in place as we conduct further enquiries. Today’s activity has been the culmination of much detailed planning and we have put measures in place to minimise disruption to local residents as much as possible.

“I understand that any time arrests of this nature are made it will cause concerns and people will naturally have questions. Although we can’t go into specific details of the investigation at this stage, I want to reassure members of the public that we do not currently believe there to be any wider threat linked to today’s activity.

“Further detail will be released where appropriate as the investigation progresses.”