Northern Ireland

Kinawley searches end after explosives find

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Media captionPolice have been searching the remote farm, located off a quiet rural road

A four-day security operation has ended at a County Fermanagh farm, where police recovered "a significant amount" of explosives and other weapons.

Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford said the arms represented "a threat to the community".

A 43-year-old man is still being questioned about the find near Kinawley, close to the Irish border.

Police said the find had "prevented serious harm" by "violent dissident republicans".

Image copyright BBC (Julian Fowler)
Image caption Police guard the outer cordon of the security operation, some distance from the site of the search

Supt Alywin Barton thanked local people for their co-operation and patience during the security operation.

Police carried out searches of buildings, vehicles and fields at the farm, which is located in a remote spot off a quiet road that leads to the border about 1km mile away.

Neighbours said they heard what sounded like three controlled explosions on Friday evening. They said there had been no sign of activity at the farm before the security operation.

Mr Ford said: "It is absolutely clear that all that would have happened would have been a threat to the community, potentially to civilians not involved in any way with the security forces - death and destruction caused for no reason whatsoever.

"My message is quite simple - give up, there is no cause that could justify the type of actions which were being proposed, it's time that people give up.

"There is no justification whatsoever for this type of violence. It must be condemned and the community must stand up against it."

Image copyright BBC (Julian Fowler)
Image caption The police search has centred on a farm property close to the Irish border, about three miles from the village of Kinawley

Sinn Féin assembly member Phil Flanagan said: "Whatever agenda they have isn't going to work.

"I would encourage whoever's behind this to stop it - they've no support within the local community and the people in this area are determined that they want to continue with peace."

Ulster Unionist assembly member Tom Elliott said: "It shows that the terrorists haven't gone away and I think the vast majority of people want them to go away.

"There's only a small element but they are a dangerous element; they don't seem to mind what destruction they will cause; they don't seem to mind if they're going to murder and kill people."

Detectives were granted a further three days on Friday to question a 43-year-old man, who was arrested on Wednesday as a result of what they called "suspicious activity".

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