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Checkpoints set up in fight against dissidents

POLICE checkpoints and extra patrols will be set up following dissident republican attacks in Belfast and Derry over the last fortnight.

The "high visibility operation" is part of the fight against the "severe" dissident threat, the PSNI said.

Dissidents have been blamed for several attacks in the last few weeks, including two bombs planted at a Territorial Army base in Derry on Sunday and an attempted bomb attack on police in north Belfast last week.

The dissident republican group calling itself the IRA claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on police, a separate blast bomb attack on police in north Belfast last month, and an attempted 'come-on' bomb attack in Derry last month.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said the checkpoints and extra patrols aim to "provide safety and reassurance to everyone".

“I apologise in advance for any inconvenience this operation may cause, but seek the public's support, patience and understanding in what we believe is a necessary step to attempt to prevent those with murderous intent going about their business," he said.

“This is not a decision we take lightly and we will endeavour to ensure that the balance of how we police this threat is right, as well as trying to keep disruption to a minimum. However, please be assured we will always prioritise public safety.

“There is no perfect security solution to terrorism. Long term success against the small group of people intent on causing disruption and harm to the community needs a combination of policing, community and political efforts and it is vital we all play our part."

He asked the public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police.

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