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Real IRA threatens to kill police

The Real IRA has threatened to kill police officers, declared the Queen's first visit to the Republic of Ireland an "insult" and claimed she was guilty of war crimes.

But the dissident republican group behind the latest threat to police officers in Northern Ireland was criticised for being "morally and politically bankrupt".

Foyle MP Mark Durkan said their pretensions to legitimacy would impress nobody.

The security forces face a heightened threat from the gunmen after the recent death of Catholic Constable Ronan Kerr, 25, in a booby trap bomb under his car in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Former SDLP leader Mr Durkan said: "Politicians do not really have to argue that this group is morally and politically bankrupt when they are driven to attack and threaten nationalists who want to serve the community and their country through a policing vocation. Their statement speaks for itself."

The rally was organised by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

In a statement, a masked member of the Real IRA told a crowd in a Londonderry cemetery: "Oglaigh na hEireann [the IRA] urge all self-respecting Irishmen and women to resist the upcoming insult that is the visit of a British monarch to Irish soil, the criminal free state government invite is not on behalf of the Irish people but to further the selfish interests of a self-serving elite.

"Despite the best efforts of the media, big business, and other power blocks to portray this visit as acceptable we clearly state that the Irish people will not capitulate. The Queen of England is wanted for war crimes in Ireland and not wanted on Irish soil. we will do our best to ensure she and the gombeen class that act as her cheerleaders get that message."

The Real IRA said police officers would be targeted "regardless of their religion, cultural background or motivation".

"The GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), Catholic church and constitutional nationalism will be unable to protect those who turn traitor, they are as liable for execution as anyone else regardless of their religion, cultural background or motivation."

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