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Families Allowed Home After Terror Arrests
Police in Cheltenham have lifted a 200 metre cordon around a garage at the centre of a terror investigation, allowing families back into their homes.
It followed the discovery of suspicious items which led to the arrest of two men on terror charges.
Residents from more than 100 houses around Buttermere Close were evacuated overnight as a precaution in the Up Hatherley area while a bomb disposal team performed a controlled explosion at a garage block, where a 25 metre cordon remains in place.
Police have said they will be carrying out house to house enquiries in the area along with reassurance patrols during the next few days.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry said: "We know that this announcement will come as a huge relief to all of the families that haven't been able to access their homes over the last couple of days.
"We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from the community during what had to be a methodical and thorough search of the area for the safety of local residents.
"We would like to thank all of our partner agencies and volunteers who worked tirelessly at the rest centres in the town to make them as comfortable as possible."
The alarm was first raised on Friday following raids at two properties in the town.
Officers initially searched a home in Brooklyn Road, Hester's Way, where they arrested a 52-year-old local man under the Explosive Substances Act.
Police then found items "requiring further investigation" in a garage in Buttermere Close.
A 31-year-old man was subsequently arrested, Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed.
After their initial detention, police later confirmed the men were re-arrested on Saturday on suspicion of the commission, instigation or preparation of a terrorist act (contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000).
A spokesman said: "The South East Counter Terrorism Unit has assumed responsibility for the on-going investigation but will continue to work closely with Gloucestershire Police.
"The 52-year-old man and 31-year-old-man are both from Cheltenham. They remain in police custody at this time."
The garage is located less than one mile from the Government electronic eavesdropping centre GCHQ.