Police have shut down the M20 as they search for escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife.

Two junctions on the coastbound traffic artery, eight and nine, have been closed during the ongoing manhunt, Kent Police said in a statement.

The closures, the service said, have been implemented to allow for “enhanced port security checks” on the Kent coast.

While they are in place, all cargo headed for the European mainland will line up on an empty stretch of the motorway. 

The rules should prevent a significant traffic pile-up as all trucks bound for the EU queue on the M20 and cars follow a detour route.

Kent Police has not explicitly cited Mr Khalife’s escape as the motivation behind their traffic order.

But law enforcement agencies have recently called for authorities to keep watch for the terror suspect at airports and ports as fears mount that he will try to escape the country.

Following his escape from Wandsworth jail, the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism command issued a notice to “enforcement agencies, including those at UK ports and borders”.

Simon Alland, Kent Police Temporary Chief Superintendent, said the order was made with regard to “public safety and traffic volumes”.

He said: “The closure of the M20 is an emergency measure that is only used following consultation with our partners in the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) and after a thorough assessment of issues including public safety and traffic volumes.

“The KRF will continue to monitor the situation closely in order to restore the motorway to its full capacity as soon as possible.”

Mr Khalife is said to have gone missing from the kitchens at HMP Wandsworth before 8am BST on Wednesday, September 6. 

The ex-soldier, 21, is accused of having left fake bombs at a military base while he served in the armed forces. 

He was remanded in custody while awaiting a trial due to begin on November 13 at Woolwich Crown Court.

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