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Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > United Kingdom

Firebombs: five held
March 27, 2006

Four suspected animal rights activists have been arrested during a police raid in connection with the attempted firebombing in Caversham.

Detectives arrested two men and two women at a house in Shaftesbury Road, West Reading, at 10pm on Monday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause explosions.

The raid followed the discovery of two homemade incendiary devices in Peppard Road between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Police spokeswoman Rebecca Webber said police believe the four, and a 39-year-old man arrested on Sunday night, could be involved in the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

Thames Valley Police's Major Crime Team were yesterday interrogating the suspects and examining the possibility the targets had links with vivisection company Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Caroline Brooks, director of PDP Courier Services which supplies Huntingdon, lives near the scene and has been targeted by ALF members in the past.

As reported in yesterday's Evening Post, bomb disposal experts swooped at 11pm on Sunday at a house on the corner of Peppard Road and Fallowfield Close after the owner told police someone was acting suspiciously outside.

Officers found an incendiary device in the driveway and called the bomb squad to dispose of it.

A thorough search of the area, including the road's drains, uncovered another device in a garden further down Peppard Road at 11am on Monday.

A national newspaper said Peter Nightingale, who lives at the second house, had reported seeing the man in his driveway. But Mr Nightingale told the Post that was untrue.

He said: "In so far as it refers to me it is utterly false. The police asked to search my garden -- as they did a number of others -- and they found something and took it away. It was connected with the arrest the other night and the incident further up the road."

Meanwhile, officers from Reading CID searched bins in West Reading following the raid in Shaftesbury Road.

Robin Webb, spokesman for the ALF, said this case bore all the ALF hallmarks and people at the house are involved with a company with links to Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Police gained permission from Reading Magistrates' Court yesterday for an extension to question the 39-year-old suspect.

All five suspects are being held at different police stations across the Thames Valley.
 

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