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Ben Needham search: Greek landowner asks police to stop digging

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Police hunting for missing British boy Ben Needham on farmland on the Greek island of Kos have been asked to stop by the owner of the site.

The Sheffield toddler was 21 months old when he vanished on 24 July 1991.

Officers uncovered ancient graves on Thursday during a fresh excavation of the area, which began on Monday.

Detectives said their investigation was continuing despite being approached by the landowner, as they had not been ordered to stop by a magistrate.

Specialists have been combing the farmland where Ben was last seen playing.

They are working on a tip-off he may have been killed and buried on the island while his grandparents were renovating a farmhouse in the village of Iraklise.

Detective Insp Jon Cousins, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “I was approached… by Mr Troumouchis, the owner of the land on which we are currently conducting the search.

“He raised with me concerns about the discovery of what appear to be ancient tombs.

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“My priority is to ensure that disruption to the operation that my team are running remains at an absolute minimum.

“If magistrates’ permission is withdrawn, it will be my intention to seek immediate judicial authority to search this area of land.”

The four or five graves that diggers have uncovered are believed to date from 1,500 years ago.

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