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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 21:22 GMT
Faslane blockade ship is seized
Ministry of Defence police and a Greenpeace boat (Picture from Greenpeace/Davidson)
Ministry of Defence police and Greenpeace on the Clyde
A boat used by Greenpeace campaigners to blockade the Faslane naval base has been seized after Ministry of Defence police stormed the vessel.

Protesters breached the restricted area at the base, which houses the Trident nuclear deterrent, at about 0800 GMT.

The Arctic Sunrise eventually dropped anchor near a defensive boom, blocking the entrance for several hours.

A total of 29 people were arrested when the boat landed. They will be held in custody until Monday.

Sixteen people had earlier been arrested in protests at the base on the Gareloch. They have been freed on bail pending further investigations.

A rare look inside a Trident submarine

They were on board six smaller vessels which accompanied the Arctic Sunrise when it sailed into the restricted area at about 0800 GMT.

The former icebreaker later came to a halt near a defensive boom guarding the nuclear submarines.

It spent several hours in that position before Ministry of Defence police officers with battering rams boarded the vessel and took control.

The Royal Navy said the Arctic Sunrise had got within 300 metres of the Trident nuclear submarines, but stressed that security had not been breached at any time.

"They didn't gain access to the naval base, they gained access to the restricted outer space," said a spokesman.

These nuclear arms submarines pose a threat to the security of the world
Louise Edge
Greenpeace campaigner

He said the MoD police had taken control of the vessel at 1725 GMT and moved it into the base, where it will be held as evidence.

Greenpeace said it had mounted the action because a delegation of Labour MPs had been due to tour a submarine at the base.

The Royal Navy confirmed that MPs had been due to make a visit to Faslane, but said the trip had been cancelled last week.

Prime Minister Tony Blair announced plans late last year to upgrade the Trident nuclear weapons system at a cost of more than 20bn.

The UK Parliament is due to formally decide in March on whether to give the renewal the go-ahead.

Louise Edge, a Greenpeace campaigner who was on board the Arctic Sunrise, said: "We're blockading the base because these nuclear arms submarines pose a threat to the security of the world, not least by encouraging other countries to go nuclear in the future."

Greenpeace footage of the blockade

Anti-nuclear protesters arrested
12 Feb 07 |  Glasgow and West
Doctors arrested in nuke protest
26 Jan 07 |  Somerset
Academics protest against Trident
07 Jan 07 |  Glasgow and West

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