Suspect found dead after flammable devices thrown at Dover migrant centre

The motive behind the attack is still unclear, as Callum Watkinson reports on what we know so far

Flammable devices were thrown at a Border Force migrant centre in Dover - with police confirming the suspect was later found dead.

Kent Police were called at 11.22am on Sunday to The Viaduct, where two to three incendiary devices had caused a fire and leaving two with minor injuries.

Kent Police confirmed a man was found dead at a nearby petrol station following an arson attack at the centre.

A statement said: “Officers established that two to three incendiary devices had been thrown outside and into the premises by a single suspect who arrived at the scene in a car. Two people have reported minor injuries from inside the property.

“The suspect was identified and very quickly located at a nearby petrol station, and confirmed deceased.

“The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit attended the location to ensure there were no further threats. A further device was found and confirmed safe within the suspect’s vehicle.

“The site remained open, however around 700 suspected migrants were relocated to Manston to ensure safety during the initial phase of the police investigation.”

Emergency services at the scene of the incident near the migrant processing centre in Dover, Kent Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she is receiving "regular updates" on the "distressing incident."

“My thoughts are with those affected, the tireless Home Office staff and police responding. We must now support those officers as they carry out their investigation,” she added.

The incident came after almost 1,000 migrants arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel on Saturday.

Natalie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover, said people at the Border Force migrant centre are being “looked after” following the “dreadful” attack.

She told LBC radio: “I understand that the Dover immigration centre that is at the Port of Dover was firebombed with the number of devices before an individual then committed suicide.”

She said the motivation of the perpetrator is so far unknown, but the centre is “a well-known facility” where small boats arrive before people are taken to the Manston asylum processing centre in Kent.

“It’s an absolutely dreadful situation that we have now at Dover,” she added. “I understand that all the people who are at the centre are being looked after and precautions are being made for their safety”.

Ms Elphicke added “tensions have been running high” over immigration and that she would not use some of the Home Secretary’s language on the issue.

Emergency services erect a tent around the car allegedly involved in the incident. Credit: PA

She said: “I think it is fair to say that tensions have been running high over the last period. And indeed, I’d raised my concerns about that with the immigration minister earlier this week.”

She mentioned a case a week ago when people who had arrived on the Dover beach in small boats across the Channel entered a house nearby, with someone “eventually apprehended in a woman’s bedroom”.

Asked about potentially incendiary language by Suella Braverman, who suggested it was her “dream” to deport people to Rwanda, Ms Elphicke said: “I don’t use and I wouldn’t use language such as that.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident at Western Jet Foil, Dover, and police are in attendance.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Service confirmed its crews had put out fires.

Emergency services near the migrant processing centre in Dover, Kent, following an incident Credit: PA

On Saturday, meanwhile, almost 1,000 migrants arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel, government figures show.

Huge lines of people thought to be migrants could be seen waiting to be processed at the Border Force compound in Dover, Kent, as a total of 990 arrived.

Nearly 40,000 have arrived in the UK so far this year after attempting the treacherous trip from France, crossing the world’s busiest shipping lanes in dinghies and other small boats, provisional figures show.

It is the highest number of arrivals in one day for a number of weeks, with more crossings taking place on Sunday morning.

The highest number in a single day was set on August 22 when 1,295 people arrived in the country.

It comes after an immigration watchdog said he was left “speechless” by conditions at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent, and warned the site has already passed the point of being unsafe.

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