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article imageShots fired at US base in England after 'car drives into gate'

By AFP     Dec 18, 2017 in World

Police arrested a man at a US air base in Britain on Monday after a car drove into a checkpoint gate, prompting American military personnel to open fire, officials said.

Suffolk Police in eastern England said the incident at RAF Mildenhall -- home to the US Air Force's 100th air refuelling wing -- was "ongoing" but that there was "no wider threat to the public or occupants on the base".

Mildenhall, around 70 miles (110 kilometres) north-east of London, was briefly locked down over the incident before reopening at 2:35 pm (1435 GMT), a spokesman for the base confirmed.

Local police said they were called at around 1340 GMT to reports of a "disturbance", adding: "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 said area schools would continue to operate as normal.

A government source said the incident was sparked by a car trying to force its way through a checkpoint at the base.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We are aware of an incident at the entry point of RAF Mildenhall."

Mildenhall said on its website: "RAF Mildenhall locked down at 1pm (1300 GMT) today following reports of a disturbance on base."

The precise nature of the incident remained unclear mid-afternoon Monday.

The base was at the centre of a foiled terrorism plot in 2015.

A British man who plotted an Islamic State-inspired attack on American military personnel based there was jailed for life last year.

Junead Khan, who was a committed supporter of the IS group had used his job as a delivery driver for a pharmaceutical firm as cover to scout several US Air Force bases in eastern England between May and July 2015, including Mildenhall.

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