The head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland yesterday blamed the IRA for an incident in which a dissident republican was abducted and injured in Belfast on Friday.
Four men were arrested after an unmarked police vehicle stopped a van near the city centre. A fifth person, republican Bobby Tohill, was found injured and was treated in hospital.
Chief Constable Hugh Orde said: "The activity was Provisional IRA activity. We are talking about an operation by uniformed officers from a local police station who arrested people who are connected to the Provisional IRA."
Tohill, a one-time republican prisoner believed to sympathise with the breakaway Real IRA, was said to have been abducted from a bar near theFalls Road.
Sinn Fein said it opposes incidents such as that on Friday. A spokesman said: "The details of last night's incident are not clear. We have heard allegations like this before."