Arms seized in Croatia were bound for IRA dissidents

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The Independent Online

Police in Croatia have seized arms which were believed to be acquired by Irish Republican Army dissidents, The Irish Times reported Friday.

Police in Croatia have seized arms which were believed to be acquired by Irish Republican Army dissidents, The Irish Times reported Friday.

Croatia's Interior Ministry confirmed that it had seized weapons and made arrests, but did not indicate the final destination of the arms.

The Interior Ministry said police searched several houses and warehouses on July 13 in Dobranje, some 60 kilometers (38 miles) east of Split, near the border with Bosnia.

Three Croatians were arrested and remain in detention, and police confiscated rocket launchers, detonating fuses and ammunition believed to be destined for terrorist organizations in Western Europe, the Interior Ministry said.

"In contacts with foreign intelligence services, the police got confirmation of its earlier suspicions that some terrorist actions in Western Europe may have been carried out by the weapons coming from Croatia," the ministry said.

It added that arms smugglers were exploiting "the unstable political situation in neighboring Bosnia" and acquiring weapons there.

The Irish Times said one man who lives near the border with Northern Ireland was arrested on Wednesday and was being questioned in connection with the Croatian seizures.

The newspaper said that two groups opposed to the IRA cease-fire - the Continuity IRA and the so-called Real IRA - have been seeking weapons in Europe.

IRA dissidents are suspected in recent incidents including a bomb attack on the Dublin-Belfast railway line and an explosion on a River Thames bridge in London.

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