Two men arrested over attempts to kill police are released

Attempts to kill police officers and British soldiers in Co Armagh and Co Fermanagh

A police roadblock close to the scene near Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, where a device was detonated on Monday. Photograph: PA Wire

A police roadblock close to the scene near Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, where a device was detonated on Monday. Photograph: PA Wire

 

Two men who were arrested in connection with suspected dissident republican attempts to kill police officers and British soldiers have been released unconditionally.

The men, aged 39 and 35, were arrested on Sunday under the UK Terrorism Act by detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)’s terrorism investigation unit.

Anyone arrested under the Terrorism Act must be either charged, reported to the Public Prosecution Service, or released unconditionally.

The PSNI said the men were arrested following searches in the Lurgan and Craigavon areas of Co Armagh, as part of the “ongoing investigations into the attempted murder of police officers at the Tullygally Road area of Craigavon on Friday, July 26th, and the attempted murder of police officers and army personnel at the Wattlebridge Road area of Newtownbutler on Monday, August 19th”.

In the Craigavon incident in July, an attempt was made to kill police officers by luring them to Tullygally Road to deal with a hoax device.

The plan, which failed, was to then cause an explosion there with a secondary booby-trap device.

Police believe that dissidents tried a similar operation at Wattlebridge near Newtownbutler in Co Fermanagh last Monday.

Over the weekend preceding that incident, PSNI officers and a British army bomb disposal unit had been dealing with a suspicious device in the Wattlebridge area.

While the police and British soldiers were in the area, there was a loud explosion some distance from where that hoax device was located.

No one was injured in the explosion.

The Continuity IRA is suspected of being responsible for both incidents.