Libya militia refuses to extradite Manchester bomber's brother

An armed group in Libya has said it will not extradite the Manchester bomber's brother after British police issued a warrant for his arrest, according to reports.

Hashem Abedi is currently being held by a counter-terrorism group allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

“We will not extradite Hashem Abedi to UK authorities,” Ahmad Ben Salim, spokesman of the Deterrence Force is reported to have said.

He reportedly added that no legal agreement between Britain and his group for this case to allow an extradition exists.

The Abedi family is originally from Libya and both brothers travelled back there in April, before Salman returned alone to carry out the May attack on the Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 and left hundreds injured.

The Manchester Arena attack killed 22 people. Credit: PA

"I can now say that following a review of the evidence by the CPS, we have applied for and been granted a warrant for the arrest of Hashem Abedi,” said Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, of Greater Manchester Police and head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.

"The arrest warrant relates to the murder of 22 people, the attempted murder of others who were injured and conspiracy to cause an explosion.

"Hashem Abedi is currently detained in Libya and the CPS has now requested that Libyan authorities consider his extradition back to the United Kingdom.

"We are grateful for the Libyan authorities considering this request.”

People look at tributes in St Ann's Square, Manchester, before a minute's silence to remember the victims of the terror attack in the city. Credit: PA

The warrant was approved by the Home Secretary, Jackson said.

An extradition agreement between the UK and Libya exists from before the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011, but the country has since deteriorated into civil war, with militias, many affiliated with Islamic State, controlling swathes of the country.

Reacting to the news, Security Minister Ben Wallace said the Manchester attack was a “callous and evil act,” adding: “the victims and their families deserve and demand justice.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, added: "I want to thank Greater Manchester Police and the Government for their hard work in getting us to this point on behalf of the people of Greater Manchester and all those affected by this appalling act of evil.”