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Cyprus

Protest planned outside Akrotiri base for Saturday

A Tornado jet returning to Akrotiri (Reuters file photo)

The community council of Akrotiri is organising a demonstration on Saturday at the British RAF base to highlight their safety concerns after two missiles fell off a Tornado jet on Wednesday when coming in to land.

The missiles fell on the runway at the Akrotiri bases and were destroyed overnight but the residents of the area, who say they were already suffering due to the noise of the aircraft, two of which depart and return daily on sorties to battle the Islamic State, are now worried about falling missiles.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the Akrotiri community council is organising “a symbolic” protest to raise awareness and to press the Cyprus government and the bases to come up with ways to reduce the risks to residents from activities in and around the base.

Community George Stylianou said the residents would gather at 10am outside the offices of the community council and will march towards the base, symbolically blocking entrance for a short while.

“We know that we live next to a military area and that there will always be a risk to our security but some measures could be taken to minismise the risks such as not flying over residential areas,” he said.

“We live daily with anxiety and over time we have to deal with the results of this on our health and safety.” After the missile incident on Wednesday, he said the council decided it was time to raise these issues again.

On Friday, the Green Party said its leader, Giorgos Perdikis, would be attending the demonstration and would be making statements.

“What is the reaction from the government on the issue of the near-accident with the missiles, “ the party asked in a written statement, implying there had been none at all.

“We believe the incident proved once again that the British military bases are a potential danger to residents in the area, and to the whole of Cyprus,” the statement said.

 

 

 

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