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Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 12:42 GMT
Blast evidence found near rail line
Belfast to Dublin railway line
Seats of explosions found near railway line
The security forces in Northern Ireland investigating reports of explosions near Newry in County Down, have found the possible seats of at least three blasts.

It follows four days of searches in an area along the Belfast to Dublin railway line after the explosions were heard at 0330 GMT on Saturday.

Army bomb disposal experts are now examining the locations between Bessbrook and Newry.

About 40 miles of track between Portadown, County Armagh, and Dundalk in County Louth is closed and train services are being disrupted.

Rail passengers are being taken by bus between the two towns.

Thousands of rugby fans travelling to the Ireland - France international on Saturday had to contend with the disruption

The railway line reopened last week after a five-day security operation on the line outside Newry.

Dissident republican

Later the police said a bomb, thought to have contained about 100lbs of home-made explosives, had gone off.

On Friday, services were also disrupted following a security alert further up the line, between Lurgan in County Armagh and Moira in County Down.

It followed a telephone bomb warning, but nothing was found.

Last June, an explosion damaged the Belfast to Dublin railway line a few miles from Newry.

The dissident republican Real IRA was blamed for that attack.

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See also:

05 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Bomb alert on rail line ends
26 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Rail device was 50lb bomb
12 Feb 01 | Northern Ireland
Blast was '100lb bomb'
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