LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) - British police investigating the systematic hacking of mobile phones to generate stories at a Rupert Murdoch tabloid arrested six people on Tuesday in dawn raids across the country.
Police working on Operation Weeting said the five men and one woman were held between 0500 and 0700 GMT on Tuesday morning on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Police said in a statement that the six were held following a consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the department which prosecutes criminal cases investigated by the police, but a spokesman would not say whether the six had been arrested before.
Operation Weeting was set up to investigate the allegation that journalists and investigators working for the News of the World tabloid repeatedly hacked into mobile phones to generate stories.
The arrested woman was described as aged 43 with a home in Oxfordshire. Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World tabloid and a close friend of Murdoch, is 43 and has a home in Oxfordshire.
She has previously been arrested as part of the hacking investigation. Her spokesman said he did not immediately know whether she had been detained.