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Soldiers deployed to AWE sites following Manchester attack

AWE says that measure is 'precautionary'

SOLDIERS have been stationed outside AWE sites in West Berkshire following Tuesday's terror attack in Manchester.

A suicide bomber detonated a device at a crowded Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday evening.

The attack killed 22 people, one an eight-year-old girl, and wounded more than 50 others.

The UK's threat level has been raised to critical - the highest level - meaning that the intelligence services believe that another attack is expected imminently.

The Atomic Weapons Establishment, which has sites in Aldermaston and Burghfield, where warheads for the UK nuclear deterrent Trident are maintained, has had its security increased.

Under Operation Temperer up to 5,000 soldiers have been deployed to support police following a terrorist attack.

AWE issued a statement yesterday (Wednesday) in response to the operation.

"Following the terrible events in Manchester on Monday, our thoughts are with the families and communities of everyone affected by this tragedy.

"Across the UK, as part of Operation Temperer, a number of Army units have been mobilised to support the police and some Army personnel have arrived at AWE (Burghfield and Aldermaston).

"This is a precautionary measure so that if the on-site police are requested to deploy officers away from AWE, in support of national security, the Army will step into those roles.

"Army personnel will only be used in roles for which they are already suitably trained, and neither safety nor security at AWE will be compromised at any time.

"Please continue to be vigilant and aware."

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