Protesters march against first British drone base

LONDON (AP) — Anti-war protesters are demonstrating outside a Royal Air Force base used to control drone flights over Afghanistan.

Until this week, British drones were operated only from a U.S. Air Force base in Nevada.

The Ministry of Defense announced Thursday that a new drone-operating squadron had begun operating from RAF Waddington in eastern England.

The ministry says the Reaper drones are used for "intelligence and surveillance missions," but also are equipped with missiles and bombs.

Opponents who are marching Saturday say drones make it too easy to launch deadly attacks from a distance and out of public sight.

The defense ministry says drone operators "adhere strictly to the same laws of armed conflict and are bound by the same clearly defined rules of engagement" as other RAF pilots.