The Continuity IRA has said that its members fired on British soldiers engaged in an undercover operation in County Armagh.
The Irish Republican Publicity Bureau in a statement said that two British soldiers had been discovered at about 7.30 pm last Friday “in the process of setting up an observation post in a ditch” overlooking the Drumbeg estate in Lurgan.
It said that one of the “crown force members took flight leaving his comrade struggling to get out of the hideout”.
The organisation said that as the second soldier, a woman, produced her weapon, a CIRA member fired at her. At that stage three carloads of a British Army TSG (tactical support group) approached the area.
“The unit fired a shot in their direction and both sides slowly but carefully withdrew,” their statement added.
The PSNI denied the involvement of British soldiers, but admitted there had been a shooting incident in Lurgan at the time in question, and that one of its members had been fired on.
Meanwhile, other IRA groups have been linked to incidents in Belfast in which the PSNI was targeted by “viable devices”.
A makeshift grenade was hurled at a PSNI Land Rover in north Belfast at the junction of Oldpark Road and Rosapenna Street at around 10pm on Thursday night, but failed to explode.
The PSNI described it as an “absolutely reckless murder attempt”.
A second device was found on the Shore Road in north Belfast. Following what may have been a similar incident, that device fell into the back yard of a community centre.
It was reportedly removed following a telephoned warning from the organisation known as Oglaigh na hEireann.