Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Saturday, 17 January 2009

Gaza protesters raid arms factory

EDO MBM Technology
Police said extensive damage was caused during the break-in

Seven men and two women have been arrested after a group of protesters attacked an arms factory in Sussex.

EDO MBM Technology in Moulsecoomb was broken into overnight by the Smash EDO group in response to the action by the Israeli military in Gaza.

Protesters say weapons components made at the site are used by Israeli aircraft on bombing missions.

Sussex Police said extensive damage was caused to the building, computer equipment and precision machinery.

Det Ch Insp Graham Pratt said: "Windows had been smashed and offices turned over in what I would describe as wanton vandalism, but with machinery and equipment so targeted that it could have been done with a view of bringing business to a standstill.

"The damage is significant and the value substantial."

Smash EDO said its activists had thrown computers and filing cabinets from the top floor and had staged a "citizen's decommissioning" of the arms factory "in direct response to the killings of Palestinians".

EDO designs, develops and manufactures weapon carriage and release systems and is an approved supplier to the Ministry of Defence and governments worldwide.

The company was unavailable for comment.

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