Northern Ireland news

'Heavily pregnant' woman arrested as part of Operation Arbacia

A "heavily pregnant" woman was arrested yesterday morning as part of a police investigation into the activities of the New IRA.

The woman was detained under the Terrorism Act at a property in north Belfast and taken to Musgrave PSNI station for questioning.

She was arrested as part of Operation Arbacia, an MI5-led investigation into the New IRA which has seen eight men and two women face charges.

Their arrests came after two gatherings at houses in Co Tyrone were bugged.

Republican party Saoradh last night claimed local people were "outraged" at the arrest of the woman, who they described as "heavily pregnant".

Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, head of Serious Crime Branch, said the New IRA continues to pose a threat.

"Not least is their willingness to put local people at risk in their reckless haste to carry out bombings and shootings," he said.

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old man was arrested in connection with investigations into gun attacks carried out by the New IRA in Derry.

The man was held during a search yesterday in the city’s Creggan area.

It follows several gun attacks in Derry in recent months in which victims suffered serious leg injuries.

Mr Murray said electronic items were also seized during the search of land and outbuildings.

“Despite significant progress against the New IRA, we have recently seen them once again turn their guns on the communities where they live, mutilating a number of men, particularly in the north west," he said.

“As well as causing brutal injuries to the victims, they have put the NHS under increasing pressure during the pandemic which is beyond reckless.”

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Northern Ireland news