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Moat hunt: PSNI terror battle armoured cars aid search

Police in Northern Ireland have sent 20 armoured cars to England to help in the search for suspected armed killer Raoul Moat.

The 4x4 Mitsubishi Shoguns were sent to Northumbria on Tuesday evening. The PSNI has many of the vehicles because of the terrorist threat.

Armed police are hunting for fugitive gunman Moat after he shot and critically injured ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, murdered her new partner and shot and wounded Pc David Rathband, 42, as he sat in his patrol car on a roundabout in East Denton, Newcastle.

Police searching countryside around Rothbury, in Northumbria, where the former bouncer has been living rough, discovered an eight-page handwritten letter at his moorland hide-out.

The note, left for Ms Stobbart, explained that 37-year-old Moat believed his victim, karate instructor Chris Brown, was a police officer.

Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson, of Northumbria Police, said he had a "gut feeling" that Moat remains on the run near Rothbury armed with one or two weapons and ammunition.

He added a £10,000 reward is on offer for information leading to Moat's arrest as police investigate hundreds of tip-offs from the public.

Mr Adamson said investigators believe others have helped Moat evade police "indirectly or otherwise" as the gunman travelled around Northumbria. He added that two men arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder - and who may have been with Moat - have helped police.

The senior detective said he now believes Moat was responsible for a robbery at a chip shop in Blyth on Monday night.

He said: "We believe Mr Moat to be a measured individual who appears to carefully plan his actions and is comfortable in an outdoor environment. While the search is now focusing on the Rothbury area, I am mindful of the potential for Mr Moat to have fled the area. We are therefore continuing a wide variety of intensive operational and investigative activity across the entire force area."

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