13/05/2012 10:41 BST | Updated 13/05/2012 10:42 BST

Police Granted More Time To Quiz Terrorist Suspects

Police have been granted extra time to question two men on allegations of terrorism.

The men, aged 31 and 52, were arrested on Friday after officers raided a property in Buttermere Close, Cheltenham.

After finding a number of unspecified items, more than 100 people were evacuated from their homes and a 200-metre cordon was put in place.

Residents were last night allowed to return home - a development which was described as a "huge relief".

Officers are continuing their investigations in the street and at the police station.

A spokesman said: "Police have been granted warrants of further detention to continue questioning two men being detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK (contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000).

"Officers from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit now have until Friday May 18 to charge, release or apply for an additional extension.

"A 25-metre cordon will remain in place around the garage, but this area does not contain any homes.

"Officers from Gloucestershire Police will be carrying out house-to-house inquiries in the area along with reassurance patrols over the coming hours and days."

The force's Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry said he was incredibly grateful for people's patience and understanding.

"It had to be a methodical and thorough search of the area for the safety of local residents," he added.

"But the messages of support and sense of community spirit across the town show that the people of Cheltenham can and will rally together at times of need.

"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."

Anyone with information related to the investigation is urged to contact police via the 101 telephone number - quoting incident number 347 of May 12.