Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 11:50 UK

Dissident threat is high - Orde


The chief constable says dissident republicans remain a real threat.

The threat from dissident republicans remains high, the chief constable has warned.

He was speaking after the Continuity IRA detonated a roadside bomb in County Fermanagh, slightly injuring two policemen on Saturday.

But Sir Hugh also said that dissident republicans did not have the capability for a sustained campaign.

"There are still a very small number of people determined to wreck all that has been achieved in Northern Ireland."

Sir Hugh made his comments at a conference on cross-border partnerships in Londonderry on Tuesday.

"This is ultimate cowardice, sneaking away into the night after trying to blow up two officers who were on their way to deal with a call from the community they're policing," he said.

'Lashing out'

"I think they're stuck roughly where they've been for the last five years and they're more determined because they're cornered.

"They have nowhere to go, no one wants them, the community don't want them, and they're just lashing out," he said.

The Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, who was also at the conference, said the activities of dissident groups were "unacceptable".

"They are in total contradiction of the wishes of all of the people of this island who have declared for this new way forward, who have voted for it, and who want to see these institutions working," he said.

"We also have to keep it all in perspective. These are tiny micro-groups who have no support whatsoever in society."

Attack condemned

On Tuesday, Assembly members expressed their concerns about the attack in Rosslea.

The former DUP leader Ian Paisley said the community must guard itself against such attacks which could continue and succeed in bringing murder again to Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Unionist Tom Elliot said he was concerned about the lack of back up available to the police unit which responded to the incident.

The attack was also condemned by Sinn Fein, the SDLP, and the Alliance Party.

One man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

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The chief constable says dissident republicans remain a real threat.

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