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Co Fermanagh security alert ends after device declared a hoax

The alert began on January 13 following claims made by dissident republicans.

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A security operation in Co Fermanagh has ended (Niall Carson/PA)

A security operation in Co Fermanagh has ended (Niall Carson/PA)

A security operation in Co Fermanagh has ended (Niall Carson/PA)

A security operation in Co Fermanagh has ended after a device found at a bus shelter was declared a hoax by police.

The PSNI said live ammunition was recovered during the operation in the Wattlebridge Road area of Newtownbutler but it was too early to determine if any weapons were fired.

The security alert began on January 13 following claims made by dissident republicans.

A person stating they speak for the Continuity IRA claimed that a suspicious device had been left in the Wattlebridge Road area.

There was also a claim that shots were fired at a police helicopter in the area on January 14.

The PSNI said the police helicopter was not in the area that day. A private helicopter was in the area but did not sustain any damage and its occupant was “unaware of any shots being fired”.

On Sunday, PSNI Chief Superintendent Andy Freeburn thanked the local community for their patience and support.

“This was a challenging and complex operation, made all the more difficult by the weather conditions,” he said.

“I would also like to thank our officers, our colleagues in An Garda Siochana and army bomb disposal experts for their assistance and expertise.

“A device left at a bus shelter has been declared a hoax.

“Four rounds of ammunition have also been recovered. They have now been taken away for forensic examination. At this stage, it is too early to determine if any weapons were fired, as has been claimed.”

Mr Freeburn urged anyone with any information about the alert to contact police.

“No community should have to live under the threat of such violence and we will now focus upon our investigation,” he said.

PA


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