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Exercise Vigilant Knife: British troops take part in cold weather training with Swedish and Finnish armed forces | UK News

British troops have taken part in Exercise Vigilant Knife, an exercise with Swedish and Finnish armed forces.

The Ministry of Defence said the manoeuvres, which offered a strengthening of “inter-operability” as both Sweden and Finland bid to join NATO, took place in Rovaniemi and Rovajarvi in northern Finland.

The exercise was staged against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which has sharpened minds across Europe about security on the Continent in the face of Russian aggression.

In July, it emerged the RAF had sent four Typhoons and two F-35Bs to Finland and Sweden for joint training exercises.

Finland signed a mutual security assurance declaration with the UK in May, and is also a member of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, a coalition of 10 nations.

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Undated handout photo issued by Ministry of Defence of British troops taking taken part in Exercise Vigilant Knife alongside Swedish and Finnish Armed Forces. The short notice command-post exercise took place in Rovaniemi and Rovajarvi, northern Finland from 29 August to 2 September 2022 and built on the success of Exercise Vigilant Fox which took place in July. Issue date: Sunday September 4, 2022.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Whilst there is war in Europe, it is more important than ever to strengthen our international partnerships.

Undated handout photo issued by Ministry of Defence of British troops taking taken part in Exercise Vigilant Knife alongside Swedish and Finnish Armed Forces. The short notice command-post exercise took place in Rovaniemi and Rovajarvi, northern Finland from 29 August to 2 September 2022 and built on the success of Exercise Vigilant Fox which took place in July. Issue date: Sunday September 4, 2022.

“We welcome Finland and Sweden’s application to join NATO and will continue to exercise together, so we are ready to face shared security challenges.

“Exercise Vigilant Knife is an invaluable opportunity for UK personnel to develop their skills and experience of war fighting in cold weather conditions, enabling them to be effective on the battlefield alongside their Finnish and Swedish counterparts.”

Greater Manchester Police release new image of man wanted over abduction of six-year-old girl – as parents urged to be ‘extra vigilant’ | UK News

Police have released a third image of a man they are searching for in connection with the abduction of a six-year-old girl, as parents are urged to be “extra vigilant”.

The child, who police previously said was seven, was allegedly taken by a man into a wooded area near a disused railway track in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, at around 4pm on Wednesday.

She was safely reunited with her family a short time later.

Tameside Police Detective Superintendent Richard Hunt said a man “obviously grabbed a child” and it is believed that he “sexually assaulted her”.

“A child was playing in this area and a chap who was hanging around has taken a child and thankfully within a few minutes we’ve got her back,” he added.

“Parents need to consider the circumstances of what I have mentioned, and I would suggest they need to be extra vigilant with their children whilst we progress this as quickly as possible.”

Officers believe the girl was taken in Warne Avenue before she was led down a path towards a football field and allegedly assaulted.

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“The offender appears to have been hanging around the area prior to the offence and afterwards he made his way through the paths and streets of the Snipe Estate, possibly in the direction of Openshaw,” Det Supt Hunt added.

Below are the three images of a man being looked for by police – it is not clear if he is the suspected perpetrator.

CCTV images issued by Greater Manchester Police
Image:
CCTV images issued by Greater Manchester Police

The first two images were released on Wednesday and were taken within 30 minutes of the abduction.

While the search for the man continues, a large police presence remains in the area.

He has been described as white, aged in his 20s, wearing dark trousers, a dark jacket, and dark shoes or trainers, possibly with a white rim around the sole.

Residents have been urged to check CCTV, dashcam video and doorbell footage for any clips that might assist the investigation.

A 35-year-old man – not the man pictured – was arrested on Wednesday, but has since been released.

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 9262.