Lancashire

Blackburn welcomes returning soldiers home from Afghan

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Blackburn to cheer on Lancashire soldiers returning from a six-month tour of Afghanistan.

Despite snow and a delay of more than an hour, crowds turned out for the homecoming parade of the 1st Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.

A special service was held at Blackburn Cathedral for the regiment before they marched through Blackburn town centre.

Lancashire Police said they made 10 arrests during the parade.

Lt Col Frazer Lawrence, of 1st Battalion, described the welcome as "fantastic".

"The number of people out there supporting us was really, really great," he told the BBC.

"It was a fantastic homecoming for all of the battalion who were present today."

Police said there had been a few minor incidents during the parade and the arrests were for drunken and minor public order offences.

Ch Insp Peter Lawson said: "Our top priority throughout has been the safety of the community and to ensure that homecoming parade passed off peacefully.

"Today's events have passed mostly without incident and I would like to thank the local community and the organisers of the event for their help during the event and the lead up to it."

The march had been delayed because troops were stuck in traffic following an accident involving two lorries.

Members of the battalion have been marching through several towns and cities in the north west of England during the week.

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