Demonstrators in Germany protest against US-led drone strikes

Peace activists form a human chain on the street leading towards the US air base during the 'Stopp-Ramstein' campaign in Ramstein, Germany. Photo / AP
Peace activists form a human chain on the street leading towards the US air base during the 'Stopp-Ramstein' campaign in Ramstein, Germany. Photo / AP

Demonstrators have formed a human chain near a U.S. air base in western Germany to protest against lethal drone strikes.

The demonstration was organised by the alliance "Stop Ramstein - No Drone War", which says the Ramstein base transmits information between operators in the US and unmanned drone aircraft in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Syria.

Police estimated 3000 to 4000 people had formed the chain close to the base, which serves as the headquarters for the US Air Forces in Europe. Organisers spoke of 5000 to 7000 people.

Peace activists form a human chain on the street leading towards the US air base during the 'Stopp-Ramstein' campaign in Ramstein, Germany. Photo / AP
Peace activists form a human chain on the street leading towards the US air base during the 'Stopp-Ramstein' campaign in Ramstein, Germany. Photo / AP

The use of drones is highly controversial in Germany, where an aversion to military conflict has prevailed since World War II.

Organisers say allowing data for drone deployments to be routed through Ramstein goes against the German constitution and want the base's satellite relay station to be closed.

President Barack Obama said during a 2013 visit to Berlin that "we do not use Germany as a launching point for unmanned drones ... as part of our counterterrorism activities."

Meanwhile, students in the Philippines capital Manila yesterday protested against a military agreement that gives US troops access to Philippine military bases and allows them to hold military exercises.

The protest against the Enhanced Defence Co-operation Agreement came on the day the Southeast Asian country celebrated its 118th Independence Day.

- AP, Telegraph Group Ltd

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