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Belgium busts drug lab on air base housing US nukes

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Belgian police raided an illegal lab producing the rave drug ecstasy on an air base that reputedly houses part of the US nuclear arsenal in Europe, investigators said Tuesday.

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Two suspects — not military personnel — were arrested during the raid, according to a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office in the Belgian province of Limburg.

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The Kleine-Brogel base in northeast Belgium is best known for housing a stock of US nuclear weapons.

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Belgian officials are discreet about the deployment, having briefly confirmed its role in the 1980s, but in 2019 a Green MP told parliament that US forces hold ten to 20 warheads there.

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Prosecutors said that local police had discovered the drug lab on military land on June 22 and that it had been dismantled by specialist federal officers.

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The lab was found to produce MDMA, a synthetic recreational drug most commonly known as ecstasy.

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The Kleine-Brogel air base is often a target of Belgian anti-nuclear and anti-NATO protesters.

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It is in a rural area between the port city of Antwerp and the border with Germany’s industrial heartland, an area dotted by labs and hideouts used by international drug gangs.

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