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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 13:10 GMT
Thirteen arrested at peace protest
Peace protesters at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire
Around 450 protesters took part
Thirteen people have been arrested after hundreds of anti-war protesters demonstrated outside an RAF base.

About 450 people turned up outside RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on Sunday.

Police said a group stormed the main gate and perimeter fence and about half a dozen managed to break through, but were quickly captured.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said that two protesters were slightly injured in the crush and were examined by paramedics, but did not need treatment.

Peace protesters at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire
Most of the protest passed off peacefully

He said: "A total of 13 people were arrested - 10 men and three women."

The ages of those questioned ranged from 19 to 46 and they came from all over Britain, including West Yorkshire, London, south Wales and Brighton.

Nine were taken to Cirencester police station and four to Stroud police station for questioning.

Seven were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass, three of criminal damage, two of theft and one to prevent a breach of the peace.

Criminal damage

Ten were released on police bail, to report back in March, pending further inquiries.

Two were cautioned and one was released without charge.

But one protester played down what had happened.

He said: "Acts of unspeakable violence are going to be committed by bomber planes flying from RAF Fairford in the near future.

"Compared to those acts a little bit of criminal damage is a very insignificant offence."

B2 bombers

A peace camp was set up near the air base a week ago and some of the protesters on the march were from the camp.

Last year the runway at the US base was extended and upgraded and it is expected that the base will be used in any campaign on Iraq.

B2 bombers are expected to be based there for long-range strikes.

The spokesman said most of the marchers had behaved peacefully and continued their march around the perimeter of the base after the incident.




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