A COLNE VALLEY shopkeeper told of how he locked himself and customers in a shop as armed police swooped to arrest people in the street outside.
Shazad Nazim, the 29-year-old shift manager, shut the doors of Linthwaite Co-op on Manchester Road last night as what he described as a big police operation unfolded.
And a pregnant young mum told how she watched in horror from the passenger seat of her dad’s car across the street as three vehicles braked to a halt and armed men appeared in the road.
“My dad, Arthur, had gone into Didi’s takeaway across the road when I heard brakes,” she said.
“When I looked there were men in the road wearing balaclavas. Three other men came out of a big BMW and I was really scared.
“The cars were all unmarked and I didn’t realise they were police.”
Julie Najim, who was working in Fortune Cookie, a neighbouring Chinese take-away, bundled a frightened elderly customer away from the shop window.
“I had an older man in the shop and he shouted, ‘Quick, get out of the way, they’ve all got guns.
“And he was right. They appeared to have guns and tasers and were wearing balaclavas.
“I pushed him behind the counter and then my boss came out from the back of the shop and said it was OK because they were police.”
Rebecca, who has a five-year-old son, said: “I was very scared. It was like something out of a film.
“I’m expecting my second baby in November and I didn’t know what to think.
“My dad had gone to see his friend who runs Didi’s take-away.
“When I saw the men on the floor I got out of the car and a man shouted to me to get into the shop.”
Shazad Nazim said the drama unfolded at about 8.30pm.
“The first thing I knew something was happening was when I saw three people in the road with police officers standing over them.
“It was a mega operation. I was shocked what was happening,” he said.
“One of the customers tried to get into the street but the police told me to lock up.
“I closed the shop for about 15 or 20 minutes. There was another member of staff with me and three customers in the shop and they had to stay inside. .
“It happened just in front of the Co-op. I think it was some sort of joint operation.”
Another eyewitness, Ronald Cushing, who lives in Manchester Road at Linthwaite, said he was just going to work when he saw police outside the Co-op. “I thought it was an accident first, as there was a car across the road and one man was lying down on the road. The police wore balaclavas.”
A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire police confirmed that police arrested a number of men in the Huddersfield area as part of an ongoing inquiry in the area.
“Four people are currently in custody and inquiries are continuing.”
She added that more information on what happened would be released today.