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Deadly taxi explosion outside hospital was terror attack, U.K. police say

Three men suspected of being “associates” have been arrested

taxi explosion

David Atherton, Breitbart via Twitter

By Suzie Ziegler

LIVERPOOL, England — An explosion that killed one person in northwest England on Sunday is being investigated as a terrorist attack, British police said. According to the Los Angeles Times, the blast came from a taxi parked outside a hospital in Liverpool.

Russ Jackson, an English counterterrorism official, said the explosion was caused by “the ignition of an explosive device” carried by the passenger in the taxi. The passenger died and the taxi driver was injured, according to the report.

According to police, three suspected “associates” of the dead passenger were arrested and a fourth was detained on Monday. The associates were described as men in their 20s.

The timing of the explosion aroused suspicions, according to the report. The blast happened just before 11 a.m. on Remembrance Sunday, when Britons hold services for those killed in war.

“Although the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident,” Jackson said at a news briefing. The incident also prompted the British government to raise the country’s terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe,” meaning that more attacks are likely.

The taxi driver, who managed to get out in time, was able to lock the doors to prevent the passenger from leaving.

“The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital,” Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson told the BBC.

According to the Independent, the passenger was identified as Emad El Swealmeen, 32. Swealmeen was picked up 10 minutes away and had asked to be driven to the hospital. The investigation is ongoing.