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Friday, April 16, 1999 Published at 20:33 GMT 21:33 UK


Protesters break into RAF base

The three women sat under a B52 bomber

Three women have broken into RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire to protest against the Nato bombing campaign in Yugoslavia.

Brits in Balkans
In a breach of security that is likely to embarrass the Ministry of Defence, the women, all from Southampton, stood under the wings of American B-52 bombers for up to 20 minutes.

Juliet McBride, Sian Jones and Julia Gigliotti said they were from an international anti-war group called Women in Black.

They said they scaled the perimeter fence with a ladder, climbed over into one compound and then over another to where the long-range bombers are positioned.

Aircraft 'loaded with bombs'

They hung one banner over an aircraft daubed in paint with the words "Bread not bombs", "There is no military solution" and "Bombing fails to protect Kosovans or uphold international law".

They said they believed that the aircraft were loaded with bombs.

They were escorted off the base by MoD police, but said they were not being charged.

A spokeswoman at the MoD told BBC News Online that US security personnel surrounded the protesters as soon as they got over the fence.

"US security do not have the right to apprehend people but they surrounded them until the MoD police arrived," she said.

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