Army bomb disposal team sent to Dover harbour over explosive devices at migrant centre
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Police have been called to a migrant centre in Dover following reports of petrol bombs being thrown in the area.
Kent Police responded to the scene at the Western Jet Foil facility at 11.22am today (30 October), after what is thought to have been two to three devices had caused a fire.
A Reuters photographer at the scene described the alleged attacker as a white man wearing a striped top who drove up to the centre in a white SEAT sports utility vehicle. The man is reported as having thrown petrol bombs attached with fireworks at the centre.
The suspect was identified and located, and the photographer claimed he took his own life after the explosives were thrown. However, police have not yet confirmed these claims.
First responders arrived just minutes after the incident took place, with images shared online showing at least a dozen police officers offering support as authorities helped to put out the fires at the site. Videos have also shown a bomb disposal team arriving at the site.
There have been reports of an injury, and police assured inquiries into the alleged attack are ongoing.
Kent Police commented: "Officers established that two to three incendiary devices had been thrown into a Home Office immigration premises. One minor injury has been reported."
Responding to the news today, a Home Office spokesperson 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 have confirmed its crews had put out the fires which broke out at the centre.
The incident came after almost 1,000 migrants arrived in the UK yesterday making the treacherous journey across the channel.
Nathalie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover, said she was 'deeply shocked' in the wake of the events.
In a post on Twitter, Elphicke wrote: "I am deeply shocked by the incident in Dover today. I have spoken to the Immigration Minister about the situation. My thoughts are with everyone involved.”
Asylum seekers are processed at the Western Jet Foil facility in Dover after being taken from the English Channel. The centre is one of two processing centres for Channel migrants in Kent, and is used to carry out immediate welfare and safety checks, as well as offering a place for migrants to receive medical care and dry clothes.
After being processed, migrants are then taken to a former RAF base at Manston for more in-depth security checks.