Two arrested over suspected dissident attempts to kill police officers

PSNI detains men over bomb incidents believed to be connected to Continuity IRA

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 were arrested on Sunday in connection with suspected dissident republican attempts to kill PSNI officers and British soldiers.

The men, aged 39 and 35, were arrested under the UK Terrorism Act by detectives from the PSNI’s terrorism investigation unit.

Police 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”.

The men were taken to the PSNI’s Musgrave serious crime suite in Belfast for questioning.

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 on 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.