Irish Republican News · November 5, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Six French arrested over alleged republican link

Eight people have been arrested in France and in Ireland in an investigation of the activities of dissident republicans.

Police in France were yesterday questioning five French nationals arrested following the discovery of an arms cache.

Three men and two women, all from Brittany, were arrested after police said they found three automatic pistols and 130 rounds of ammunition in a hide in the ground in the coastal town of Dieppe, around 200 miles from Normandy.

All five were detained on suspicion of having links to the Real IRA.

The suspects were transferred to Paris where they can be interviewed by detectives for up to 96 hours without charge under French law.

Media reports indicated French police had been observing the cache, which contained two sub-machineguns, an automatic weapon, two silencers and 130 rounds of ammunition. One suspect was arrested because he returned repeatedly to the spot.

Other arrests occurred hundreds of kilometres away in the Côte-d'Armor region of Brittany, because of phone calls to `Real IRA' suspects in Ireland, according to reports.

At the same time, two Irish men in their mid-20s were arrested in the Dublin area.

They were detained at Dublin Garda Stations where they can be held for up to 72 hours.

The seven arrests were being described as a `preventive' measure by security sources.

  • One of those arrested in France was released today. A second suspect was expected to be freed tonight but investigators planned to apply to a judge to extend the detention of the four others, said a judicial official.
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    © 2003 Irish Republican News