Republican dissidents ‘plan Xmas terror blitz’

PSNI: Dissidents warning. Picture: PA

PSNI: Dissidents warning. Picture: PA

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DISSIDENT republicans are planning a Christmas terror blitz in Northern Ireland, a senior police commander has warned.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said officers were ramping up security levels in the region in a bid to thwart violent attacks.

A rump of republican extremists opposed to the peace process continue to engage in armed actions in Northern Ireland, with members of the security forces their primary targets.

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Last year they launched a number of attacks in Belfast in the run-up to Christmas, in a clear bid to cause maximum disruption and havoc in the traditionally busy festive period.

Revellers escaped injury when a small bomb exploded in the busy Cathedral Quarter district, and in another incident a suspected firebomber set himself alight inside a shop when the device he was carrying seemingly ignited prematurely inside his jacket.

There was also a failed car bomb attack close to the entrance of the Victoria Square shopping centre, while gunmen opened fire on a passing police patrol in the Crumlin Road in the north of the city.

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