drones
Four members of the End The Drone Wars protests group hold a banner inside RAF WaddingtonFacebook/End The Drone Wars

Four people have been arrested at an RAF base in Lincolnshire after staging a protest against the use of armed drones.

Two men and two women were arrested on suspicion of suspicion of aggravated trespass after cutting through the wires at RAF Waddington to create a "New Year gateway for peace" at the base.

The protesters then displayed banners as part of their demonstration against the uses of drones which are controlled from the base.

The group – who call themselves End The Drone Wars – are also said to have carried reports of civilian casualties stemming from airstrikes in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the "growing normalisation and acceptability of drone warfare".

End The Drone Wars named the four people arrested at the scene as Chris Cole,51, from Oxford, Katharina Karcher, 30, from Coventry, Gary Eagling, 52, from Nottingham, and Penny Walker, 64, from Leicester.

In a pre-prepared statement, the group said: "We come to RAF Waddington today to say a clear 'no' to the growing normalisation and acceptability of drone warfare.

"Thanks to the marketing of drone war as 'risk free', 'precise' and above all 'humanitarian', war has been rehabilitated and accepted as virtually normal by those who see little or nothing of the impact on the ground thousands of miles away.

"Remote wars mean most no longer hear, see or smell the impact of bombs and missiles. With just a little effort we can almost believe that war is not happening at all."

An RAF spokesperson said: "We fully respect people's right to protest peacefully within the law but have a duty to protect public property and to ensure that we meet operational needs.

"The Ministry Of Defence has a duty to maintain security at all defence installations and uses all lawful means to do so.

"RAF Waddington, like all large airfields, has a large perimeter fence that is protected by a variety of security measures. Whilst some protesters did breach the perimeter fence, Reaper [drone] operations continued completely unaffected".