23/11/2001

Four men charged with possession of guns

Four County Londonderry men have been charged with possessing guns found in a car in Coleraine on Wednesday November 21.

The men, who are all from Coleraine, appeared in court in Larne on Friday November 23 charged with possession of firearms with intent to endanger life and possession of terrorist related items.

It is understood the charges relate to an incident when police stopped a car on the Ballycastle Road. They discovered two guns, ammunition, four balaclavas, gloves and other items.

The men, believed to have links to loyalism, were taken to Lisburn for questioning. A senior police officer said he believed police had intercepted a terrorist operation.

SDLP assembly member for East Derry John Dallat has said he is “delighted “the arrests have happened. Speaking on Thursday November 22 he said: “It is clear that the people arrested had evil intent in their hearts. Their discovery and subsequent arrest may well save lives and prevent a family grief at Christmas. Police work which stops people committing evil acts is to be applauded, and those who are intent on bringing harm to others must be stopped, whether they are so called Republicans or so called Loyalists. They have more in common with each other than with the main body politic as all they offer is a return to the past. The people have no time for them, I have no time for them, and I’m delighted this arrest has taken place.” (AMcE)

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