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RAF Marham serviceman head-butted and punched attacker in self defence

Police appealing for witnesses in relation to the RAF Marham attempted abduction say one of the suspects may have a visible facial injury Credit: ITV News Anglia

Detectives have said it is possible one of the suspects involved in the attempted abduction of an RAF serviceman suffered a visible facial injury.

It comes as police follow-up a number of calls and CCTV enquiries into the incident which happened at RAF Marham on Wednesday July 20.

Two men, described as Middle Eastern in appearance, were seen to be involved in the incident; however police have said more people could have been inside the vehicle.

The main suspect, who grabbed the serviceman while he was out jogging, and attempted to pull him into a dark coloured people carrier, is thought to have suffered an injury during the incident after being challenged by the victim.

They were involved in a scuffle during which the victim, aged in his late 20s, head-butted his attacker before punching him, causing the suspect to fall to the floor. It was at this point the second suspect, who was armed with a knife, appeared and went to the aid of his accomplice allowing the victim to run away and get help.

The victim managed to fight off his attacker and head-butted him, we believe around the eye-socket, so it is possible he suffered swelling and bruising in this area. He was then punched which caused him to fall to the ground. Clearly the extent of his injuries is unknown however we do not believe either attack caused the suspect to bleed, contrary to reports circulating in the media.

– Detective Superintendent Paul Durham, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team

Weapon used in RAF Marham incident was a 'military-type knife'

At a press conference this afternoon, police have confirmed the weapon used in what they believe to be an attempted abduction at RAF Marham yesterday was a 'military-type knife.'

It had a 3in handle and a blade that was between 2.5 and 3inches long.

The Norfolk and Suffolk major crime unit are dealing with the incident, which they say has left the serving RAF personnel "shaken up."

The victim, who's in his 20s and is married, was out jogging on one of his regular running routes, when he was approached by two men who threatened him with a knife.

Police confirmed that one of the suspects shouted at the serviceman, before placing a hand on the victim's shoulder and forcefully pulling him with a degree of force down to the vehicle.

The victim managed to break free and run off.

He didn't hear what was shouted at him because he had headphones on during the attack.

The victim managed to break free, he fought free from the attacker, and left him on the floor. There was physical contact.

– Detective Superintendent Paul Durham

Police say they have no reason to think the attackers wouldn't still be in the area.

They are currently looking for the car driven by one of the attackers.

It's difficult to envisage a situation where there wasn't an element of pre- planning. That that is speculation.

– Detective Superintendent Paul Durham


MOD announces £167m RAF Marham contracts

The Ministry of Defence has announced contracts worth £167 million to upgrade and build new facilities at RAF Marham in north west Norfolk, the future home of the UK's Lightning II squadrons.

The contracts, which will create 300 new jobs, will pay for the addition of maintenance, training and logistics facilities at Marham. The Lightning Two is the most advanced combat aircraft in the world.

These facilities are critical to the F-35B Lightning II programme, which is in turn vital to the future capability of the UK’s Armed Forces. The cutting edge technology of these aircraft, supported by world-class facilities at RAF Marham, will ensure we have a battle-winning fleet of jets deployable anywhere in the world.

– Tony Douglas, DE&S Chief Executive Officer

RAF captain 'absolutely confident' there will be no civilian casualties

An RAF captain has said he is "absolutely confident" there will be no civilian casualties as air strikes were launched over Syria.

Captain Richard Davies, of RAF Marham in Norfolk said: "In over 400 air strikes that the RAF has carried out in Iraq, we have had absolutely no civilian casualties reported.

The rules of engagement that our crews apply both in the air and by the commanders on the ground mean that I am absolutely confident that that will continue to be the case with operations in Syria."

Tornado fighter bombers have been attacking IS targets in Iraq since September last year when MPs gave the green light for air strikes.

Captain Davies's comments follow a warning by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the lead-up to last night's vote that the move would "almost inevitably lead to the deaths of innocents".


RAF Tornado jets hit targets in Syria

The MOD has confirmed its Tornado jets have launched their first bombing raids in Syria.

A Ministry Of Defence spokesman confirmed RAF Tornados had returned from their "first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes".

Two more jets from RAF Marham in Norfolk have joined the action this morning.

See RAF video of Tornado jets leaving Cyprus on bombing mission:

More jets leave RAF Marham for Cyprus.

Credit: PA

Two more Tornado jets have left RAF Marham this morning for Cyprus.

They'll join those from the base already at RAF Akrotiri.

Tornado fighter bombers have been attacking IS targets in Iraq since September last year when MPs gave the green light for air strikes last night.

An oilfield in eastern Syria was the target of overnight RAF airstrikes, the Defence Secretary, has confirmed.

PM: Defence review 'very good' for RAF Marham

The Prime Minister says the government's review of defence spending is good news for RAF Marham in Norfolk.

A Tornado aircraft based at RAF Marham in west Norfolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

David Cameron has announced £12 billion for military equipment in a Strategic Defence and Security Review. The SDSR set out heavily-trailed plans for two new Army 5,000-strong "strike brigades" capable of deploying rapidly around the world.

RAF Marham is the home to the Tornado force and the future home of the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

The Prime Minister said the additional defence spending would mean more Lightning aircraft, more quickly. He was answering a question in the House of Commons from the North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham.

"Will the Prime Minister confirm that today’s statement is good news for RAF Marham, the home of the Tornado force and the future home of Lightning II?

Obviously the Tornadoes and Brimstone missiles are playing a vital role in the campaign against Daesh, but does he agree that there is now an overwhelming case for extending those strikes into Syria itself?"

– Henry Bellingham, Conservative MP for NW Norfolk
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