Belfast Telegraph

Two quizzed over attempted murder of PSNI officers

The PSNI described both incidents as attempts to murder police officers (stock photo)
The PSNI described both incidents as attempts to murder police officers (stock photo)

By Christopher Leebody

Two men have been arrested by detectives investigating the attempted murder of police officers in Co Armagh and Co Fermanagh.

The pair, aged 35 and 39, were arrested by officers from the PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit yesterday.

The arrests under the Terrorism Act came following searches in the Lurgan and Craigavon areas of Co Armagh.

They are part of ongoing investigations into the attempted murder of police officers in Craigavon on July 26 and the attempted murder of police officers and Army personnel in Newtownbutler last Monday, August 19.

The men were being questioned at Musgrave Serious Crime Suite in Belfast.

A loud bang was heard in the Tullygally Road area of Craigavon on July 26, before what police termed a "viable device" was found. The elaborate plot involved attempting to lure police into danger, after a hoax report was passed on to police via the media.

About three weeks later an explosion was heard in the Wattle Bridge Road area of Newtownbutler. The device exploded while officers were at the scene investigating. No officers were injured at the time.

The PSNI described both incidents as attempts to murder police officers.

The attacks were attributed to dissident republicans by both police and local representatives, with PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin referencing a worrying increase in cases of dissident activity.

"The Continuity IRA have been present for a long time but I think it is fair to say that their level of activity has increased this year," he said at the time.

Ulster Unionist justice spokesperson Doug Beattie had condemned those responsible, referring to them as "contemptible, deranged and pathetic individuals".

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