Warning over weapons at Suffolk airbase

THE number of nuclear weapons kept at a Suffolk air base - already thought to total more than 100 - could soar in the next few years, it has been warned.

THE number of nuclear weapons kept at a Suffolk air base - already thought to total more than 100 - could soar in the next few years, it has been warned.

Last night Davida Higgin, spokeswoman for the Lakenheath Action Group, which campaigns against American nuclear warheads in Britain, said she fears more bombs would be stored at the US base at RAF Lakenheath in the future.

The claim follows the release of an official report confirming that 110 nuclear weapons - more than three times the amount originally thought - are being kept at the base.

They are among around 480 weapons stored across Europe, including 150 at three bases in Germany, 90 in Turkey, 90 in Italy, and 20 each Belgium and the Netherlands.

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But Mrs Higgin believes it is only a matter of time before bases in Europe pass some of their bombs on to Lakenheath.

RAF Lakenheath is currently thought to be the only base in the whole of Britain to hold any nuclear weapons.

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Hans Kristensen, who published the report on behalf of the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC), believes there is no justification of a “credible” mission for the weapons by either the United States or Nato.

“Residents in Lakenheath are becoming increasingly concerned over the amount of bombs being kept at Lakenheath,” said Mrs Higgin.

“We originally thought only 30 bombs were kept at Lakenheath, but were shocked to discover that figure had gone up to 110.

“We have heard a rumour that there is the possibility of more bombs being sent to Lakenheath if pressure is put on other countries in Europe to reduce the amount of weapons they keep, and this is a great worry to us.”

Mrs Higgin was among 50 peace protestors who staged a demonstration outside the gates of RAF Lakenheath last October.

Clutching fake nuclear weapons, the group claimed that the base was home to a cache of nuclear weapons.

“The more people that are aware of these bombs the better, and the Lakenheath Action Group is already planning further protests for this year,” said Mrs Higgin.

“We want to educate people on a matter which we believe poses a real threat to people in this country.

“The bombs are flown back and forth between Britain and the US and this is a real danger in itself, and we need to put a stop to it.

“We are struggling to understand the purpose of having the bombs in this country, and we just hope that the British Government will step in and take action.”

A spokesman for RAF Lakenheath said yesterday: “We can neither confirm or deny the presence or absence of defence weapons at any specific location.”

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