Man arrested over huge Northern Ireland bomb find

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Northern Irish police on Thursday arrested a man in connection with a massive car bomb left in an underpass beneath the main road linking Belfast and Dublin.

The 26-year-old man is being quizzed about the viable 500-pound (225-kilogramme) device left in a van abandoned below the A1 near Newry in the southeast of the province.

He was arrested in a village a few miles outside the city, close to the border with the Republic of Ireland.

Police said the bomb, abandoned on April 7, was a sophisticated and substantial device that could have been destined for a town centre.

The discovery of the bomb came days after Northern Ireland was rocked by the killing of Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr amid fears that dissident republicans opposed to the peace process were stepping up their activities.

Detectives investigating Kerr's murder in a car bomb attack have been given six more days to question two of three suspects being held.

The province is gearing up for May 5 elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, a keystone in the peace process, after the devolved, power-sharing administration survived a full four-year term.

© 2011 AFP

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