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Vehicle blaze alert at Afghan base

A stolen vehicle was driven onto the runway of the main British base in Afghanistan then burst into flames as US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived there.

The incident at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province is believed to be linked to an earlier incident, which left a British serviceman with minor injuries.

Mr Panetta arrived at the base to meet troops, commanders and Afghan government officials, just days after a US soldier went on a deadly shooting spree in Kandahar.

Around the same time as the defence secretary's aircraft landed, a vehicle got onto the runway at Camp Bastion and caught fire.

The driver, a local man employed at the base, is being treated at Camp Bastion's hospital for his injuries, according to a spokeswoman at the camp.

A statement from Isaf said: "Isaf is aware of a stolen vehicle incident today at Camp Bastion, which resulted in the injury of one coalition service member.

"The alleged perpetrator was apprehended by base security personnel. We are currently investigating to determine more facts.

"This incident took place this afternoon around the same time US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta was arriving in Afghanistan.

"At no point was the Secretary or anyone on the aircraft in any danger from this incident."

Camp Bastion was put under "lockdown" in the aftermath of the incident, with flights and movements in and out restricted while it was investigated.

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