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UK makes more arrests after hostage taker killed in Texas synagogue standoff

Greater Manchester Police said it was liaising with local communities and continuing to assist in the US inquiry.

IANS | New Delhi |

Two teenagers have been arrested in England as part of the investigation into a hostage-taking incident at a synagogue in Texas, the BBC reported.

British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Blackburn, was shot dead late Saturday night after a standoff with police in Colleyville, the report said.

Details of the ages or genders of the pair arrested in south Manchester on Sunday evening were not revealed.

Greater Manchester Police said it was liaising with local communities and continuing to assist in the US inquiry.

The force said the two teenagers were arrested “as part of the ongoing investigation into the attack” and were being held in custody for questioning.

According to US police sources, Akram arrived in the country via New York’s JFK International Airport two weeks ago.

Akram’s brother Gulbar confirmed his death in a statement carried on the Blackburn Muslim Community Facebook page.

He apologised to the victims and said his brother had been suffering from mental health issues, the report said.

The hostage-taker was heard demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who is currently serving an 86-year term in a prison in Forth Worth, Texas, about 20 miles away from the synagogue, law enforcement officials told local media.

President Joe Biden appeared to confirm the attacker had been seeking her release, saying the Texas attack was related to “someone who was arrested 15 years ago and has been in jail for 10 years”, the BBC report said.

The President said the attacker had apparently bought weapons after he landed in the US.