Europe

Cypriot villagers confront British soldiers cutting trees

  • British soldiers stand next to their military trucks after they blocked local angry residents from a village inside a British military range at Xylofagou village  Cyprus inside a British military base, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Villagers in Cyprus have confronted British soldiers based on the east Mediterranean island over the cutting down of trees at a firing range. British bases spokesman Kristian Gray said the standoff, which saw local residents from a village inside a British base confronting soldiers and blocking their trucks from leaving the area for several hours, ended peacefully. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    British soldiers stand next to their military trucks after they blocked local angry residents from a village inside a British military range at Xylofagou village Cyprus inside a British military base, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Villagers in Cyprus have confronted British soldiers based on the east Mediterranean island over the cutting down of trees at a firing range. British bases spokesman Kristian Gray said the standoff, which saw local residents from a village inside a British base confronting soldiers and blocking their trucks from leaving the area for several hours, ended peacefully. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • British soldiers sit on the ground after their military trucks  blocked local angry residents from a village inside a British military range at Xylofagou village  Cyprus inside a British military base, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Villagers in Cyprus have confronted British soldiers based on the east Mediterranean island over the cutting down of trees at a firing range. British bases spokesman Kristian Gray said the standoff, which saw local residents from a village inside a British base confronting soldiers and blocking their trucks from leaving the area for several hours, ended peacefully. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    British soldiers sit on the ground after their military trucks blocked local angry residents from a village inside a British military range at Xylofagou village Cyprus inside a British military base, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Villagers in Cyprus have confronted British soldiers based on the east Mediterranean island over the cutting down of trees at a firing range. British bases spokesman Kristian Gray said the standoff, which saw local residents from a village inside a British base confronting soldiers and blocking their trucks from leaving the area for several hours, ended peacefully. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • British military trucks are seen behind of an old British tank, used for exercises, block local angry residents from a village inside a British military range at Xylofagou village  Cyprus inside a British military base, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Villagers in Cyprus have confronted British soldiers based on the east Mediterranean island over the cutting down of trees at a firing range. British bases spokesman Kristian Gray said the standoff, which saw local residents from a village inside a British base confronting soldiers and blocking their trucks from leaving the area for several hours, ended peacefully. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    British military trucks are seen behind of an old British tank, used for exercises, block local angry residents from a village inside a British military range at Xylofagou village Cyprus inside a British military base, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Villagers in Cyprus have confronted British soldiers based on the east Mediterranean island over the cutting down of trees at a firing range. British bases spokesman Kristian Gray said the standoff, which saw local residents from a village inside a British base confronting soldiers and blocking their trucks from leaving the area for several hours, ended peacefully. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

Villagers in Cyprus have confronted British soldiers based on the east Mediterranean island over the cutting down of trees at a firing range.

British bases spokesman Kristian Gray told The Associated Press that Thursday's standoff, which saw local residents from a village inside a British base confronting soldiers and blocking their trucks from leaving the area for several hours, ended peacefully.

Gray said the overnight military operation was intended to boost safety by improving visibility inside the firing range.

Xylophagou community leader Tasos Anglogallos said villagers were angry that soldiers had cleared eucalyptus and other vegetation near the community's only and much prized forested area. Activists also say the acacia trees that were cut down are used by locals to illegally trap songbirds served at restaurants as a delicacy.