::: u.tv :::

THURSDAY 22/04/2004 08:48:32 UTV
Four arrested in NI security operation

Four men were arrested and a suspected sniper's rifle seized during
a major security operation against dissident republicans in Northern Ireland.
By:Press Association

Army bomb experts were called in to examine the bolt action weapon
discovered when police stopped cars in south Armagh last night.

Checks are being carried out on the gun to establish if it is
similar to the Barrett rifle used to deadly effect by the notorious
IRA marksman who prowled the area at the height of the violence.

One informed source insisted terrorists only used the type of weapon
recovered for sniper duties.

He said: ``This is used for targets as opposed to combat.``

The arrests were made when officers from Newry halted a number of
vehicles on the Camlough Road.

A firearm was recovered from one of them, a police spokeswoman

Security sources disclosed that the operation was made against
suspected rogue republican paramilitaries opposed to the Good Friday
Agreement who operate in the area. The Continuity IRA, a splinter
organisation who carried out several bombings and shootings in a bid
to derail the peace process, may have been involved, one said.

Officers from the police service`s serious and organised crime team
were heavily involved in the detention.

Police chiefs were also attempting to establish if the rifle
recovered was the same as the lethal weapon used to murder members
of the security forces in the so-called bandit country.

Only one Barrett gun was thought to have ever been found, although
rumours have persisted that a second of the astonishingly accurate
weapons was still in circulation.

``They called it whispering death because you just didn`t hear it,``
said one source familiar with the campaign mounted by the

The arrests came just a day after a damning report into the levels
of paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland.

Even though the Independent Monitoring Commission`s dossier focused
on the Provisional IRA and loyalist terrorists, it also backed the
view that dissident republicans remain active with lethal

It is understood police were refusing to remove the rifle from the
car until military explosives experts had carried out intensive

One source said: ``The last thing needed would be for people to pull
this out and something go wrong. Meticulous forensic work will also
have to be done.``

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?