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Last Updated: Monday, 11 August, 2003, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Dissident suspects held in England
Map of Morecambe
The arrests follow several in Limerick in recent months
Three men have been arrested in England following a police operation investigating dissident Irish republican activity.

Two arrests were made on an industrial estate in Morecambe, in Lancashire, and a third elsewhere in the town, following searches in Lancashire, West Yorkshire, and London.

Police officers recovered two handguns and a rifle at commercial premises.

Arrangements are being made to move the men from Lancashire to London, where they will be questioned by anti-terrorist branch officers at Paddington Green police station.

Irish police say the arrests came during an ongoing joint operation between British and Irish forces.

The operation was part of an investigation into criminal activity in Limerick where a number of arrests have been made in recent months.

A Lancashire Police spokesman confirmed three men were arrested in Morecambe on Sunday in connection with the possession of firearms.

Two men, aged 35 and 44, were arrested on an industrial estate in Morecambe around 1410 BST.

A third man, aged 48, was arrested at about 1530 BST in the Westgate area of the town.

"Searches were carried out with Lancashire and West Yorkshire officers," the spokesman said.

"Armed officers were deployed to make the arrests. All men were arrested under the Terrorism Act."

The BBC's Kevin Bocquet reports from Morecambe
"The police here in Lancashire were tipped-off by the Irish police"

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