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Hunt goes on for suspected dissident republicans

Gardai are still searching for three suspected dissident republicans who ran off after their car was stopped in Co Donegal.

The car was intercepted near Stranorlar in the east of the county after four men were seen acting suspiciously shortly after 8pm on Tuesday.

After being confronted three of the men ran away across fields in the Cooladawson townland while a fourth man was detained.

Gardai recovered a firearm from the car that has been taken away for forensic examination.

In follow-up operations on both sides of the border gardai and PSNI officers in Strabane carried out vehicle checkpoints in a bid to find the men.

A spokesman for the An Garda Siochana confirmed a 49-year-old man had been arrested and is being questioned at Letterkenny Garda Station and that a firearm had also been recovered.

Local councillor Martin Harley said: “It is very disappointing when you see the way things are moving in Northern Ireland that these things happen.”

“Factions are raising their heads and that is a concern.”

Mr Harley suggested that in the current economic climate the men may not have been involved in terrorism but could have been out to commit a robbery.

He said: “It's just very disappointing. The Finn Valley area where this has happened would have a lot of different religions in it. A lot of the towns here would have three or four churches in them and everyone lives together.

“Nobody here wants to see this sort of thing regardless of what is behind it.”

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