Fears of dissident Easter offensive in Northern Ireland
Security forces in Northern Ireland were on full alert today amid fears that dissident republicans could unleash an Easter offensive.
Just three weeks after the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh, police warned that terrorist groups could be intent on trying to murder more officers in the coming days and weeks.
A police spokesman said: "Dissident terrorist groups are continuing to identify officers and target them with the single objective of killing them. And in so doing, their reckless actions will also put the lives of our wider communities at risk."
The new warning came as thousands of mainstream republicans supporting Sinn Fein and the peace process prepared to hold dozens of commemoration parades throughout Ireland to mark the 1916 Rising.
Police said the public needed to be on their guard.
Patrols and on-the-spot security checkpoints are to be set up across Northern Ireland.
A spokesman said: "We are taking these steps to keep communities and officers safe. We would not do this unless it was not absolutely necessary to protect life."
Three men were arrested yesterday when police stopped a car in Keady, Co Armagh.
Police described the arrests as "significant" and it is understood a number of undisclosed items were taken away for examination.
The men were detained as part of a security operation which also involved police in the Republic.
Meanwhile, a 33-year-old man from Omagh, Co Tyrone, will appear in court later to face a series of terrorist charges after being questioned by detectives investigating Constable Kerr's murder.
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bromance continues: X-Men star gushes about 'pussy cat' BFF Patrick Stewart
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Hollande's affair: Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau in war of words over President's relationship with Julie Gayet
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the the Pyongyang marathon winner
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist