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Two held over 'genital mutilation'

Two men have been arrested by police investigating claims that female genital mutilation is being offered in the UK.

West Midlands Police said a 55-year-old and a 61-year-old were arrested after officers from the force's public protection unit attended three separate addresses in Birmingham.

Detective Inspector Caroline Marsh said: "We are still in the very early stages of this investigation but I hope this morning's action sends out a clear message about how seriously we are taking these allegations."

She added: "We are actively working together with our partner agencies to investigate reports of female genital mutilation (FGM) and raise awareness of the practice amongst both professionals and communities, in order to identify and safeguard potential victims.

"I want to reassure people that we thoroughly investigate all allegations of FGM and I would encourage anyone who may have any information about this illegal practice to contact police."

The men were arrested on suspicion of offences contrary to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.

Officers went to properties on Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Trafalgar Road, Moseley and Kingstanding Road, Kingstanding, at around 9am.

A force spokesman said an investigation was launched following the publication of an article in The Sunday Times on April 22.