Belfast Telegraph

Eight quizzed in anti-terror blitz

Eight suspected dissident republicans have been arrested in a massive anti-terror blitz against the Oglaigh na hEireann splinter group.

A tube and equipment to launch a mortar, a Magnum revolver and a large quantity of ammunition and bomb-making material were seized during 15 raids across four counties.

The men are suspected of being the backbone of a dissident group targeting the security forces in Northern Ireland, storing and moving weapons and components for explosive devices.

A senior Garda source said the eight were believed to be part of the splinter group which formed out of a breakaway from the Real IRA.

Two businesses and 13 homes were targeted in the dawn raids across Wexford, Waterford, Clare and Longford. The handgun and bullets were seized during one of the raids in Wexford, a spokesman said.

Gardai said the suspects range in age from their 20s to their 50s.

Other searches across the country recovered suspected component parts, equipment and material which may have been destined for use in explosive devices.

All eight suspects have been detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act on suspicion of membership of an unlawful organisation and unlawful possession of firearms and explosives.

The operation, organised by the Special Detective Unit and supported by local units, spanned the South-Eastern, Southern and Western Garda Regions.

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