Live British military shooting exercise halted after suspected illegal migrants run on to firing range


A live Ministry of Defence shooting range was forced to suspend a live firing drill after a group of suspected migrants landed a boat inside a restricted area and ran onto the site, according to reports from the Telegraph.

A reservist unit of British soldiers was shooting at Lydd Ranges, near Dungeness, when a spotter saw a powerful speedboat heading towards shore, having crossed the Channel early on Wednesday morning.


The soldiers stopped shooting down the range, however, the boat made landfall inside the designated “danger area” and a group of 16 people ran inland.

Police and immigration officials were called to the scene and it is understood that all the migrants were located shortly after the incident occurred.

The Lydd Ranges have been used for British military training for over 150 years with a “danger area” extending out to sea, when the range is live red flags are flown in periods of live firing and were on display on Wednesday morning.

According to the same report from the Telegraph, the boat on which the group travelled was fitted with a 300bhp engine which costs £20,000 on its own.

Onboard, it is understood that an Albanian passport was found among the discarded life jackets.

Damian Collins, the Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe said: “It looks like a very nasty accident was avoided in Lydd.

“The scourge of human traffickers has for too long disrupted the lives of both my constituents, and of the asylum seekers whose lives they put at risk, extorting thousands of pounds out of them to then bundle them onto unsafe craft to cross the world’s busiest shipping lane.

“I welcome the Home Secretary’s commitment to bring forward new legislation that will deliver safe routes to the UK for those in genuine need, faster processing of claims, and accelerating removals for those whose applications have failed – helping those with legitimate claims, whilst clamping down on human trafficking gangs.”

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