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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 November 2005, 13:22 GMT
Five now held over 26m robbery
Searches were carried out in Kilcoo in County Down
Searches were carried out in Kilcoo in County Down
Two more men have been arrested by police investigating last year's 26.5m Northern Bank robbery in Belfast.

A 40-year-old man was arrested in Dungannon and a 43-year-old in Coalisland, both in County Tyrone.

Police also carried out more searches in Kilcoo, County Down, over the robbery, removing a number of items.

Two men in their 20s arrested in the village on Tuesday are still being questioned, as is a 30-year-old man arrested in Belfast on Wednesday.

A search was carried out at the home of one of those arrested in Dungannon and police took away a car and a number of other items in boxes and bags.

Sinn Fein Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew said the raids were "part of a political stunt".

"We have seen these kinds of stunts happening before - they swoop in and take things away," she said.

"They eventually come back in a lot less a heavy glare of publicity, give whatever they had raided back and say there was nothing on there."

'Proportionate'

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has defended the police's actions as being "proportionate" and "the right thing to do".

"We will continue to deliver as best we can in what is a very complicated major crime investigation," he added.

The road between Castlewellan and Newry at Kilcoo was blocked by burnt out cars after protests on Wednesday night.

Millions were taken from the vaults of the Northern Bank last December
Millions were taken from the vaults of the Northern Bank last December
A number of protesters blocked the road.

Kilcoo is a strongly republican village close to Castlewellan.

Police on both sides of the Irish border have blamed the IRA for the robbery. The IRA has denied this.

The robbery happened at the bank's headquarters in Donegall Square West in the city centre in December 2004.

Nobody has been charged with the raid.

Some money seized in County Cork last February was linked to the robbery, but virtually all of the missing millions is still unrecovered.




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