New bomb-making equipment found

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The Independent Online

A second haul of suspected bomb-making equipment has been discovered by police investigating dissident republican activities in Northern Ireland.

The find in south Armagh last night came hours after officers uncovered a large quantity of bomb-making materials in the same county.

Twenty-four hours earlier police recovered a weapons cache in a vehicle they stopped in Keady, south Armagh.

Three men arrested in relation to that guns and ammunition haul found near the Irish border on Friday remained in custody today.

There have been no further arrests and police have not provided details of the locations of the bomb-making equipment finds.

The significant seizures over the last 48 hours come as police remain on high alert across Northern Ireland amid fears of a terror attack to mark traditional republican Easter commemorations.

As mainstream republicans hold events across the island of Ireland to remember the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin against British rule, security forces have concerns dissidents opposed to the peace process will attempt a symbolic action.

Increased patrol and checkpoints are being mounted in a bid to thwart any act of violence.

Just three weeks after the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh, Co Tyrone police have warned that terrorist groups could be intent on trying to kill more officers in the coming days and weeks.

A 33-year-old man arrested by detectives investigating the policeman's murder appeared in court in Dungannon yesterday on a series of arms and explosive charges.

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."

Police urged members of the public to be on their guard.

The spokesman added: "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."

The men detained in Keady were arrested as part of a security operation which also involved police in the Republic of Ireland.