March 24, 2017 / 8:31 AM / 5 months ago

Police arrest two more over British parliament attack

Floral tributes are seen placed near the scene of an attack in Westminster, in London, Britain March 24, 2017.Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said they had made two further significant arrests in the investigation into the attack on London's parliament and gave the birth name of the man behind the assault as Adrian Russell Ajao.

Britain's top anti-terrorism officer, Mark Rowley, said police had nine people in custody after the attack on Wednesday which killed five people including the assailant.

Police had said the man behind the attack was British-born Muslim covert Khalid Masood, who used several aliases, and that they were trying to establish if others had directed him.

"Our investigation focuses on understanding his motivation, his operation and his associates," Rowley said.

"Whilst there is still no evidence of further threats, you'll understand our determination is to find out if either he acted totally alone, inspired perhaps by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him.

Rowley said police had made two further "significant" arrests overnight, one in the West Midlands and one in the north west of the country.

"We now have nine people remaining in custody, and one woman has been released on bail," he said.

Rowley said the attacker, who plowed down pedestrians when he sped across Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing an unarmed policeman, had injured at least 50 people in total. Two are still in a critical condition, and one person is considered to have life-threatening injuries.

Reporting by Kate Holton and David Milliken; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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