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Man charged over restaurant blast


London : A 22-year-old man arrested after an explosion at a city centre restaurant has been charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism, police said.

Nicky Reilly was arrested after undergoing hospital treatment following the blast at the “Giraffe” restaurant in Exeter, Devon, south-west England, on May 22.

Police said Reilly would appear in court “on the next available date,” but would not say where.

They added that Reilly had been charged under the UK Terrorism Act 2006 with “engaging in conduct in preparation for committing acts of terrorism.” He is also charged with possession of an explosive substance with intent under the UK Explosive Substances Act 1883, and possession of explosives contrary to Section 4 of the same Act.

A police spokesman said “Although one man has now been charged, this remains a complex, live investigation.” Two further men remain in custody, helping the police with their inquiries, the spokesman added.

Reilly, from Plymouth, Devon, is understood to have been the only person injured in the attack, suffering eye and facial injuries when the device partially went off in the shopping centre restaurant at lunchtime.

Following the blast, police officers carried out a number of searches at properties in Plymouth, including Reilly’s flat and a Muslim community centre.

The two other men were arrested after the attack.

The British media has said that Reilly is a recent convert to Islam.