Police explode suspicious object at London station, launch terrorism inquiry

LONDON (Reuters) - British police carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious item found at a London underground station on Thursday, and said counter-terrorism officers had launched an investigation.

Police were called shortly after 1000 GMT after rail staff reported finding the item on a train at North Greenwich underground station, near the Canary Wharf financial district and close to the O2 entertainment centre.

A controlled detonation was carried out to make the item safe and officers from London’s Counter Terrorism Command have taken the lead in the investigation, police said.

The North Greenwich underground station which was evacuated has now reopened, police said.

“We’re keeping an open mind at the moment,” a spokesman for the British Transport Police said, declining to give any further details.

Britain is on its second-highest alert level of “severe”, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

The Jubilee underground line was partially closed for more than four hours, an unusually long time after the discovery of a suspicious package.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Stephen Addison and Andrew Heavens