Sound of explosions prompt rail line closure

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The Independent Online

The cross-border rail link between Belfast and Dublin has been closed after several explosions were heard near the line.

The cross-border rail link between Belfast and Dublin has been closed after several explosions were heard near the line.

A security operation was mounted at first light today to search for the focus of the explosions, which were near the border town of Newry.

Thousands of Northern Ireland rugby fans trying to travel to Dublin for the Ireland against France Six Nations' match at Lansdowne Road have been affected by the closure.

Northern Ireland Railways, which normally puts on extra trains to get fans to internationals, told them they should make their own way to the match as they could not guarantee a bus substitution service around the blast scene.

An RUC spokesman said: "A number of explosions have been heard in the vicinity of the railway line at Newry. The cause is under investigation at the moment."

Dissident republicans have mounted a campaign against the railway line recently.

It only fully re-opened a few days ago after a five-day security operation on the line outside Newry, Co Down, found the site of a bomb crater beside the track caused by a device containing an estimated 100lbs of home-made explosives.

And only yesterday services were disrupted for a time following a bogus warning of a device further up the track between Moira and Lurgan, Co Armagh.

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