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Sunday, September 12, 1999 Published at 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK


UK: Northern Ireland

Police chief warns of terror threat

Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan: Assessing threat

The Chief Constable of the RUC has warned that the threat from dissident terrorists is increasing.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan said the threat posed by a coalition of the "so-called Real IRA, the Continuity IRA and some members of the INLA" is particularly acute in areas where Northern Ireland borders with the Republic.

The Real IRA was behind the bombing of Omagh in August last year which killed 29 people. More than 300 people were injured in the blast.

"There is no doubt that the threat from dissident republicans is growing almost daily," he said on Sky's Sunday With Adam Boulton

"There remains a very persistent, on-going threat ... from dissident loyalists as well," he said.

Vigilant

"The threat from these people is growing and is persistent and is very current."

"They pose a very significant threat particularly in the border areas and that's something my officers and their military colleagues are patrolling."

He said that the RUC and their counterparts in the Republic, the Gardai, remained vigilant to the increasing threat.

He dismissed as inaccurate weekend media reports suggesting the number of republicans aligned with dissident groups was greater than those attached to the Provisional IRA.

"That doesn't mean that the threat that they pose is in any way to be ignored," he said.



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