Ten people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism in police raids in this northern British city and other parts of the country Monday as authorities also searched a number of buildings and businesses.

Greater Manchester Police said the 10 were take into custody "on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism."

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Whatton said the suspects were of North African and Iraqi Kurdish origin. Seven were arrested in Manchester and three elsewhere in central and northern England.

Whatton told the British Broadcasting Corp. (search) that the arrests were "part of an ongoing operation" against terrorism.

Police also searched several properties in Manchester, including the Dolphin takeaway restaurant, which was under police guard.

The force said officers from the Staffordshire, West Midlands and South Yorkshire Police forces also were involved in the operation.

Suspects can be detained without charges for a maximum of two weeks under anti-terrorism laws, but courts grant police that permission only a few days at a time.

Officers refused to comment on what prompted the raids or with whom the suspects were thought to have ties.

Last month police arrested nine men and seized more than half a ton of potentially explosive fertilizer in anti-terrorist raids in London and the surrounding area. Six of those men, all British citizens ages 17 to 32, were charged with explosives or terrorism offenses.

The seizure of the ammonium nitrate fertilizer (search) — a component of many bomb attacks, including the October 2002 explosions that killed 202 people on the Indonesian island of Bali — spurred intense media speculation about a plot to bomb civilian targets in Britain, although police have released no details of the case against the men.