Three men charged after N. Ireland weapons find

24th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Northern Ireland police on Sunday charged three men with a range of terrorist offences following the discovery of a cache of firearms in a van on Friday.

The three suspects -- aged 34, 35 and 39 -- were arrested in County Armagh, near the Irish border, after police stopped the vehicle containing suspected dissident republican guns and ammunition.

The men -- who have been charged with possession of firearms with intent to endanger life, preparing to commit an act of terrorism and possession of items likely to be of use to terrorists -- will appear in court in Newry on Monday.

Friday's seizure came as part of a security operation involving police from the Irish Republic and was the first of three significant hauls in two days in Armagh.

Suspected bomb-making equipment was found during two separate searches on Saturday.

The charges come three days after police investigating the murder of a Catholic police officer in Northern Ireland charged a 33-year-old man with terrorism-related offences.

Constable Ronan Kerr, 25, was killed by a car bomb in County Omagh on April 2.

A police spokesman said: "Dissident terrorist groups are continuing to identify officers and target them with the single objective of killing them. And in so doing, their reckless actions will also put the lives of our wider communities at risk."

© 2011 AFP

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