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RAF Mildenhall ends lockdown amid reports of car trying to ram gates

PUBLISHED: 16:06 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:20 18 December 2017

Police near the scene of an incident at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Police near the scene of an incident at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Archant

American servicemen “fired shots” and a man was arrested at RAF Mildenhall which was put on lockdown amid reports of a car trying to ram the gates at the US Air Force base in Suffolk.

A man with “cuts and bruises” has been detained and taken into custody after police were called to reports of a “significant incident” at RAF Mildenhall at around 1.40pm today.

The US Air Force base was in lockdown amid reports that a car attempted to ram the gates.

Suffolk Constabulary statement (3.10pm).

“Suffolk police were contacted at approximately 1.40pm today ( Monday 18 December) to reports of a disturbance at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

“The base was put into lockdown and units responded immediately.

“Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody.

“No other people have been injured as a result of the incident.

“Suffolk police remain on site and further updates will be issued by the Suffolk police press office.”

The force added shortly afterwards: “Police are continuing to deal with an ongoing incident at RAF Mildenhall, it is considered that there is no wider threat to the public or occupants on the base.

“One man has been arrested and police are not looking for anyone else on the site.”

A brief statement on RAF Mildenhall’s Facebook page earlier said: “RAF Mildenhall locked down at 1pm today following reports of a disturbance on base. The base was locked down and emergency personnel are responding to the situation.

“Additional details will be provided as they become available. Individuals in the area surrounding the installation are asked to avoid the base at this time.”

At 3.30pm, the base’s Facebook page posted: “Lockdown has terminated on base and operations are returning to normal.

“We’ve concluded our combined US-UK response to this incident and we are continuing to support local authorities in the ongoing investigation.”

Earlier, Suffolk Constabulary tweeted: “Police are responding to reports of a significant incident at RAF Mildenhall, further details shortly, follow us for any updates.”

The force added: “Members of the public are asked to avoid the area around RAF Mildenhall for the time being. More to follow shortly.

“Police officers are currently on the scene at RAF Mildenhall, more follows.”

Shortly before 3pm, around 20 minutes after news of the incident first broke, two businesses on the base confirmed they were no longer on lockdown after the security alert.

A member of staff at Jumppin Jacks Funhouse in Mildenhall told the Press Association: “All the American children playing here suddenly left, but we didn’t hear anything or know why.”

RAF Mildenhall has previously been a potential target for a terror attack.

In May 2016, British Islamic extremist Junead Khan was jailed for life or planning a strike against American military personnel.

Delivery driver Khan, of Luton, scouted bases including RAF Mildenhall and nearby RAF Lakenheath the previous year.

The trial of the “committed supporter” of Islamic State (IS) heard he plotted to fake a car accident before attacking personnel with a “Jihadi John”-style knife.

He was jailed for a minimum of 12 years after being convicted of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

A Pentagon spokesman in Washington said: “The security incident has been contained and a suspect has been apprehended.”

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