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Two held after controlled explosion

Two Russian students have been arrested following a controlled explosion after the discovery of "potentially suspicious items" at Newcastle University.

Students and staff were evacuated from a campus building after concern was first raised at 10am yesterday and a cordon was eventually established.

A bomb disposal team was called in and a specialist robot was seen entering the building.

Northumbria Police said a controlled explosion was then carried out as a precaution by the explosive ordnance disposal unit on Newcastle Town Moor.

Initially an 18-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident but now a second 18-year-old man has also been arrested.

The police confirmed both men are Russian students studying at Newcastle University and they remain in custody.

Over night Chief Superintendent Laura Young said: "Police have been searching a Newcastle University building and the building has been evacuated as a precaution so that items can be recovered and examined.

"Residents around Newcastle Town Moor may have heard a slight bang and I would like to reassure them this is in connection with the incident at the university and was planned."

The police said they were working closely with the university to reassure students and staff and said there was currently no cause for concern.

A Newcastle University spokesman said: "The INTO building is now open for staff and students following last night's evacuation and we are working closely with Northumbria Police with their on-going inquiries."

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