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Arson attack on animal lab builder

Oxford University vowed today to press on with building a

controversial research centre after animal rights extremists claimed

responsibility for an arson attack on a college boathouse.

A spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front cell confirmed that an

internet posting claiming the group was behind the arson attack on

the Hertford College boathouse on July 4 was genuine.

The message on the United States-based Bite Back magazine site

warned that no property owned by the university or its colleges would

be 'off limits' until the controversial laboratory project on South

Parks Road was scrapped.

Work on the £18 million biomedical research laboratory ground to a

halt last July when contractor Montpellier pulled out of the

project after activists threatened shareholders.

An Oxford University spokeswoman said today that work had yet to

recommence but that the university remained committed to the scheme.

The internet message, received anonymously by activists in the UK,

said that an ALF cell travelled to Oxford armed with incendiary

devices containing approximately 11 litres of petrol.

The extremists claim to have broken into the Hertford College

boathouse and left the incendiary devices among the boats before

leaving, padlocking the door and gluing the locks to prevent anyone

getting in before the fire broke out.

The messages said: 'Oxford University's holdings now own the

contract to build the South Parks lab, as far as The ALF are

concerned this means that Oxford University as a whole must accept

the consequences.'

The message added that builders and suppliers would also 'get

some', even if their involvement with the project came to light

years later.

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