30/03/2009

Fermanagh Remains On Alert As Belfast Hoax Ends

While the Irish police have revealed a successful planned search operation against suspected dissident republicans, with explosive devices recovered in Dublin, a security alert has this morning led to the closure of a road in west Belfast.

However, the bomb alert which halted traffic on the Whiterock road all morning has since ended and been declared a "crude hoax".

It started after a suspicious object was discovered tied to the gates of Whiterock Leisure Centre.

The Whiterock Road was sealed off following the discovery of the object.

Meanwhile, police are continuing to warn people in the Wattlebridge area of Fermanagh not to approach unknown or suspect objects.

Calls made to a Belfast radio station on Sunday claiming to be from a terrorist group said two bombs had been abandoned on roadsides.
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A police spokesman said given previous incidents in the border area, "a measured response is being prepared".

Yesterday, it is understood searches were carried out close to Newtownbutler, along the main Clones to Monaghan Road and the police helicopter was also deployed.

A state of high alert continues as, in the Irish Republic, three people were arrested yesterday at a flat in Dublin and three suspected pipe bombs recovered.

Two men and a woman, all in their 30s, were arrested in Ulster Street in Phibsboro on Sunday by police investigating dissident republicans.

The street was closed off while members of the Irish army bomb squad dealt with the devices.

Two of the arrested people are being detained in Blackrock and one in Donnybrook police stations.

They are being detained under Section 30 of the Republic of Ireland's Offences Against the State Act.

(BMcC/JM)

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