Five men arrested in hunt for police officer's killers

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Five men were yesterday arrested in Northern Ireland in a major security operation investigating the murder of a police officer by dissident republicans earlier this year.

Up to 200 police were involved in swoops in the counties of Antrim, Londonderry and Tyrone for questioning about the killing and other republican activities.

Constable Ronan Kerr, a Catholic trainee member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, died on 2 April when a booby-trap bomb exploded underneath his car outside his home at Omagh, Co Tyrone.

The five men being held for interrogation under the Terrorism Act are aged in their 30s and 40s. They were arrested in Bellaghy, Ballyronan, Coalisland and Toome, where there has been dissident activity in the past.

A £50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Constable Kerr's murder.

Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray said: "The investigation is progressing and police have been encouraged by the support and assistance which has been forthcoming from across the community."