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Dissident group lifts prison officer death threat

Republican terror group, Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH), has lifted its death threat against prison officers - the move coming months after a chilling warning that the faction had the personal details of staff up to and including the rank of governor.

That threat was linked to a long-running stand-off at Maghaberry prison - a jail row over the issue of strip searches, association and lock-up times.

Some prisoners have been involved in a so-called 'dirty protest'.

Now, ONH has issued a statement lifting the threat.

"In light of recent developments and the fact that the Prison Service are entering into meaningful discussions to resolve the ongoing dispute at Maghaberry, from midnight Tuesday (June 28) ONH lifted the death threat to prison staff."

The statement said the decision - communicated privately through intermediaries - was "to give space for these negotiations to take place". A dissident leadership source told this newspaper that the intermediaries then asked for a statement to be made in public.

The terror group first made its threat in March.

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It is the group behind last year's Palace Barracks bomb and a series of under-car booby trap incidents in which an Army major and police officers have been targeted. The group was behind the "attempted execution" of a man in west Belfast on Monday.

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