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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 March, 2003, 14:13 GMT
More arrests at RAF airbase
Pictures attached to the RAF Fairford fence
Pictures have been attached to the RAF Fairford fence
Two men are in custody in Gloucestershire after they were arrested at RAF Fairford.

Police say the men were arrested for aggravated trespass at about 0525 GMT on Tuesday at the airbase where US B-52 bombers are currently based.

A friend of peace campaigners Phillip Pritchard, 32, and Toby Olditch, 34, both from Oxford, said they were arrested while attaching pictures of Iraqi victims of previous bombing campaigns and sanctions to the base's fence.

Several peace protests have taken place at the base and there have been previous arrests for breaking through security.

On Monday, two women were arrested as a group of veteran peace campaigners gathered at RAF Fairford to voice their opposition to a possible war with Iraq.

Up to 50 elderly women - many in their 70s and 80s and calling themselves the 'Grannies for Peace' - were protesting outside the base, home to US B-52s in the run-up to a potential conflict in the Gulf.

Fairford peace camp
Peace protesters have set up camp near the base

Led by Greenham Common protest founder Ann Pettitt, the campaigners sat outside the base's main entrance holding flowers, knitting, singing, dancing and holding banners.

The women, some of whom were in wheelchairs, linked arms to stop military vehicles and laid daffodils across the entrance to the base.

Two women, aged 45 and 37, were arrested in the afternoon on suspicion of obstructing the highway.

They were later released without charge but were reported for the obstruction of the highway.

Police had earlier said the women were "wilfully and unlawfully obstructing the base entrance".

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon gave permission for 14 long-range B52 bombers to be stationed at RAF Fairford two weeks ago, ahead of possible action in Iraq.

The base has been the focus of a number of peace protests, and a peace camp has been set up in the grounds of a nearby pub.




SEE ALSO:
Protesters mount bomb blockade
17 Mar 03 |  England
Two US B-52s on test runs
15 Mar 03 |  England
Man in court over B-52 protest
11 Mar 03 |  England
Special powers in two counties
10 Mar 03 |  England



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