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Officers dealing with three terror-related attacks a week

By Deborah McAleese

Published 28/05/2015

Police are dealing with around three terrorist attacks every week, the body that represents rank-and-file officers has revealed.

Over the past year there have been 171 terrorist-related attacks, the Northern Ireland Police Federation said.

These attacks included 74 shooting incidents, 39 bombing incidents and 58 paramilitary-style attacks.

Federation chairman Mark Lindsay warned that terrorism "continues to demand eternal vigilance".

"This level of terrorist-related activity tells us that vicious, murderous bands of dissidents pose an everyday threat to our friends, colleagues and communities," he said.

In recent months there have been several attempts by dissident republicans to lure officers into areas where booby-trap bombs have been planted.

This month a bomb was left in north Belfast in a bid to kill officers, and in February a mortar bomb on the outskirts of Londonderry was also an attempt to murder police.

Mr Lindsay said attacks like these "could have had unthinkable consequences were it not for a combination of professionalism and good fortune".

He said that with the assistance of An Garda Siochana there had been notable success against terrorist gangs.

However, Mr Lindsay warned: "We have to remain vigilant as we continue with a decade of centenaries, which are highly emotive and could potentially fuel an upsurge in activity. Our ability to curtail and degrade terrorists and dissidents cannot be eroded by 'balance sheet' politics. Every resource should be devoted to the task, with no short cuts or skimping. Civic society wants to live in peace, free from the oppression of paramilitaries of whatever hue. They are misguided and a scourge on this society."

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