Northern Ireland

Justice Minister 'extremely concerned' about dissidents

The justice minister has said he is "extremely concerned" at the recent increase in dissident activity.

However, David Ford said that dissidents are small in number, have no political agenda and will not succeed.

He welcomed "the united community response against a small number of people trying to drag NI backwards".

"They're actually re-enforcing the will of the rest of the community to stand together and support the devolution arrangements," he said.

Mr Ford also said he believed the security forces had all the resources they needed to combat the ongoing threat.

His comments came after a number of incidents blamed on dissident groups.

On 3 August, a 200lb carbomb exploded outside a police station in Londonderry.

The following day a booby-trap bomb was found under a soldier's car in Bangor.

Irish police investigating dissident republican activity arrested five men in County Louth on 8 August. Guns, ammunition and balaclavas were found in two cars during the operation.

In County Down, on the same day, a bomb was discovered under the car of a Catholic policewoman in Kilkeel.

On Tuesday 10 August, in Cookstown, a booby-trap bomb partially exploded under the car of a civilian security worker.

No-one was injured in any of the attacks.