Police move in on M3 protesters

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POLICE arrested at least nine people for obstruction last night after more than 200 demonstrators halted work at an M3 extension site by climbing on to a metal bridge.

The protestors broke through razor wire, set fire to a bulldozer and evaded Group 4 security guards before climbing on to the 30ft high bridge, being erected by workmen to link two sides of the road development at Twyford Down, near Winchester.

Late last night, police with dogs stormed the bridge. The demonstrators were expected to be taken to police stations around Hampshire before being released this morning.

A police spokesman said: 'They were given an ultimatum and refused to leave. We were left with no alternative but to move in. At the moment the operation is successful and no one has been injured. But there is still some way to go.'

Hampshire's assistant chief constable John Wright said: 'We are determined to allow the contractors to carry on their lawful work. The mob burst on to the site, breaking down fences and making it impossible for work to continue. It is a disgrace.'