Third arrest in N.Ireland police murder probe

9th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Police said on Friday they had arrested a third man in connection with the car bomb murder of a Catholic police officer in Northern Ireland.

"Police investigating the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr have arrested a 33-year-old man from the Omagh area," a Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said.

The man was detained in the area around Omagh, the town where the policeman was killed in the bombing outside his home last Saturday, she added.

Earlier on Friday, police were given more time to question the two men already detained over the murder of 25-year-old Kerr.

A 26-year-old man, who was arrested in Scotland on Wednesday, and a 40-year-old man detained near Omagh on Thursday will be quizzed by police for up to another five days.

Both these men were also being questioned about an arms dump found in Northern Ireland, which included Kalashnikov rifles, ammunition and explosives, and was described by police as "one of the most significant in recent years".

The guns found in the arms dump were believed to have been smuggled in by criminal networks from eastern Europe, according to a senior security source.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

But it has been blamed on dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in the British-run province and is believed to be aimed at deterring Catholics from joining the police.

The policeman's funeral on Wednesday produced a remarkable show of cross-community condemnation of the attack.

© 2011 AFP

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