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Brothers to speak about London terrorism raid

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) A British man shot during a police anti-terrorism raid in London will talk about it publicly for the first time today after he and his brother were released without charge.

They will describe the ''mental and physical pain'' they suffered in the raid by more than 250 police looking for a suspected chemical device, their sister said.

''It is their whole ordeal they're going to talk about,'' Humeya Kalam told BBC radio. ''We're just a normal, average family. We do not know why this happened.'' The brothers, named in the media as Abul Koyair, 20, and Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, will hold a news conference later today.

Kahar will explain how he was shot in the wake of conflicting reports of what happened at the house in Forest Gate, east London, his sister added.

They were held under the Terrorism Act 2000 after the June 2 raid, which community leaders criticised as heavy-handed.

Their release without charge and the police's apparent failure to find evidence in the house raised questions over the intelligence which led to the raid.

Newspapers said the high-profile operation had increased pressure on London police chief Ian Blair, already under fire over the fatal shooting on a London train last July of a Brazilian wrongly suspected of being a suicide bomber.

The Forest Gate operation, which involved police wearing chemical, biological and radiological protection suits, was one of the biggest since last July's bombings in London killed 52 commuters.

Kalam said the police did not identify themselves when they burst into the house.

''To us they were just burglars,'' she said. ''I heard doors being smashed, windows being broken.

''I woke up, opened my door, saw a person dressed all in black, a gun pointing towards me. I shut the door, the door was banged open and then a person just shouted at me 'on the floor, on the floor'.

''The next thing I know, I'm on the floor, petrified, handcuffed.'' A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman declined to comment.

Lawyers for the men have said they deny any involvement in terrorism.

London police apologised for the disruption caused by the raid on Thursday but said the officers had no choice but to act on ''very specific intelligence''.

REUTERS KD PM1351

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