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Scores arrested and knives seized after incident at Sikh temple

Published 11/09/2016

The Gurdwara Temple in Leamington Spa after it was stormed by a group of men armed with knives.
The Gurdwara Temple in Leamington Spa after it was stormed by a group of men armed with knives.

Fifty-five people have been arrested and a "significant" number of knives seized in an incident at a Sikh temple, according to police.

Armed officers surrounded the Gurdwara Temple in Leamington Spa after reports that between 20 and 30 men had entered the building, many armed with blades.

A cordon was put in place around the temple in Tachbrook Drive at around 6.45am on Sunday.

Warwickshire Police said 55 people have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

Eyewitness Perry Phillips, 53, of Leamington Spa, said he saw a protest being held, reportedly against a "mixed marriage ceremony", and some men had apparently taken swords into the building.

"I was a bit surprised, very surprised," he added.

"I could see at the entrance to the Gurdwara a lot of people were outside but it was peaceful, there was no shouting or anything.

"It seemed like a peaceful protest.

"There's a big Sikh community in Leamington Spa and a lot of people were turning up."

Superintendent David Gardner said the "contained" incident was "an escalation of a local dispute".

"A significant number of bladed weapons were seized from the scene. As a result of reports that the men were in possession of these weapons we deployed armed officers as a precaution," he added.

"Over the coming days we will be working with local the Sikh community to address some of the ongoing issues that have culminated in today's events.

"We would like to thank local people for their patience while we dealt with this incident."

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From Belfast Telegraph