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Semtex found during raids

Half a kilo of Semtex explosives and a horizontal mortar were recovered during PSNI raids over Easter, it emerged last night.

Police confirmed that an extensive haul, believed to belong to dissident republicans, was discovered during searches in south Armagh and east Tyrone.

As well as the Semtex and a mortar containing the same explosive, police discovered 25kgs of other homemade explosives, an automatic weapon, silencer and ammunition.

Three timer power units, booster tubes and a detonator, as well as coffee grinders — used to refine explosive material — were also uncovered during the searches.

The recent weapons find is the latest in a series since PSNI constable Ronan Kerr was killed in a bomb attack last month.

News of the find came after three men were arrested while driving near Keady on Good Friday. Three men were later charged after weapons were allegedly discovered in the car.

These arrests came just days after Gavin Coyle (33), from Culmore Park, Omagh, was charged with possession of explosives, firearms and other items after a find at Brockagh, near Coalisland.

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Semtex, four assault rifles and other component parts were discovered by police at a unit close to Mountjoy Road.

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