POLICE say a controlled explosion has been carried out in Newcastle in connection with an incident that led to part of the city's university being evacuated.

Searches continued last night in relation to the incident which saw the arrest of an 18-year-old man in London.

Officers searched the University's INTO centre following the recovery of what were said to be "potentially suspicious" items. 

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The Army's Bomb Disposal Unit was called to the scene and a robot sent into the building.

Around 12.20am today, Northumbria Police said a controlled explosion was carried out on Newcastle Town Moor in connection with the incident.

The INTO building has now reopened, the university has said.

"The explosion was carried out as a precaution by the EOD - Explosive Ordnance Disposal - unit," the spokeswoman said.

"Police would like to reassure residents this was a planned event and reiterate it is in connection with the incident at Newcastle University."

Chief Superintendent Laura Young added: "Police have been searching a Newcastle Unveristy building and the building has been evacuated as a precaution so that items can be recovered and examined.

"Residents around Newcastle Town Moor may have heard a slight bang and I would like to reassure them this is in connection with the incident at the University and was planned."

Enquiries are continuing. The 18-year-old man arrested in connection with the investigation was arrested in London.

There is currently no cause for concerns for students and the wider community.

Earlier police said "potentially suspicious items" had been found and the building had been evacuated as a precaution so the items can be recovered and examined.

A Newcastle University spokesman said: "The INTO building is now open for staff and students following last night's evacuation and we are working closely with Northumbria Police with their on-going inquiries."

The INTO building specialises in academic and English language preparation for international students, according to the University's website.