British plane spotters arrested in United Arab Emirates

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Media captionConrad Clitheroe's wife and Gary Cooper's son spoke to BBC Breakfast

Three British plane spotters have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over allegations of suspicious behaviour.

The men from Greater Manchester and another expat have been told they were arrested because of "national security", one family member said.

Conrad Clitheroe, 54, Gary Cooper, 45, and Neil Munro were reportedly taking notes near Fujairah Airport, about 80 miles (130km) from Dubai.

They were arrested on 22 February.

'Using a telescope'

Mr Clitheroe, from Stockport, Mr Cooper, from Reddish in Stockport and Mr Munro, originally from Manchester, are being held at Fujairah prison, Mr Clitheroe's wife Valerie said.

They were near Fujairah Airport where older and rarer aircraft can be seen.

A local police official said the men had been taking photographs near an airport and were using a telescope.

The group attracted suspicion and were taken to a police station for questioning, where their belongings were searched.

Mrs Clitheroe said: " I have spoken to him three times since his arrest last week - he is really upset, really sorry for upsetting me.

"They are shocked.... It is a case of national security."

Mr Clitheroe and Mr Cooper had been visiting their friend Mr Munro and were due to return home on the day they were arrested.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokeswoman said: "We can confirm the arrest of three British nationals in Dubai on 22 February.

"We are providing consular assistance at this time."

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