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Lock doors and windows say police hunting killer

Police hunting for Raoul Moat urged people to be "extra vigilant" today after warning he could now pose a threat to the wider public.

As intensive search efforts for the fugitive carried on for a seventh day around the village of Rothbury, Northumberland, residents were told to "close your doors, close your windows" and avoid unnecessary travel.

The advice came as detectives tried to unravel a network of accomplices suspected of harbouring the 37-year-old nightclub bouncer, who declared "war" on police before starting a shooting spree last weekend.

Two men arrested in Rothbury on Wednesday night on suspicion of assisting an offender were bailed last night.



Grievance

Two other alleged accomplices, Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, appeared in court yesterday accused of being part of Moat's conspiracy to hunt down and kill policemen. They were remanded in custody.

Chief Superintendent Mark Dennett said there was no new specific threat against any individual and Moat's main grievance was still thought to be against the police. But he asked for people to be extra vigilant.

Around 300 people packed a public meeting in Rothbury last night, in which police tried to allay fears about the search.

Police released CCTV images of Moat captured at a branch of B&Q in Newcastle on Friday, hours before he shot his ex-girlfriend and killed her new lover before going on to declare "war" on police. The next day he shot and seriously injured Pc David Rathband as he sat in his patrol car at a roundabout.

Officers said the up-to-date images, in which Moat sports a distinctive Mohican-style haircut and tight-fitting bright orange T-shirt, should help the public identify him.

Police believe Moat is armed with one or two weapons and a stockpile of ammunition and remains in the countryside around Rothbury.

Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson revealed he was now believed to be a "wider threat" to the public as forensic psychologists examined letters written by the gunman to determine who is most at risk.

hnews@herald.ie


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