Dissident republicans are again targeting British Crown forces after a device was found in County Armagh.
A major security operation was mounted in the village of Keady following a coded warning from a caller who said he represented the breakaway ‘Continuity IRA’.
A caller using a recognised codeword said: “The attack was with the intent of luring the security forces into the area.”
The Kinelowen Street area of Keady was cordoned off for several hours on Tuesday following the discovery of a suspect device.
Brritish army bomb disposal experts carried out two controlled explosions on the object.
PSNI police later said the incident was an “elaborate hoax” and the device had been taken away for examination.
BRITS LAND IN LOUTH
Meanwhile, a British Army Puma helicopter landed across the border in County Louth on Thursday night last and deposited a joint British Army/PSNI police patrol.
Two heavily armed PSNI men and 8 British paratroopers were left in a field next to the Dundalk/Derry road several miles south of the border. The helicopter then flew towards County Armagh, leaving the 10 members of the British forces behind in County Louth.
Local residents who were alerted by the noise gathered at the scene and confronted the British forces. A number of motorists also stopped in the area before the Puma helicopter returned to collect the soldiers and PSNI members.
The helicopter then inexplicably flew further south and hovered over a house. The lady of the house went to her front door and witnessed a British paratrooper point his rifle at her while other soldiers made obscene gestures. The helicopter then returned to its base in Crossmaglen.
Local Sinn Féin Councillor Tomas Sharkey has reacted angrily to the incident.
“The border area is being saturated by British security forces who seem hellbent on inciting local communities,” he said.
“Only two weeks ago, a parachute regiment patrol waved a car through a checkpoint outside Crossmaglen and then fired on it. The border communities are living in fear of this maverick behaviour.
“I do not accept that the helicopter was lost or simply off course. It flew over a British base at Drummucknavall, a local school, and the main Castleblayney road. I believe that the soldiers were on british army business in Co. Louth, attempting to either place or remove their own surveillance equipment. Irish people are well aware of the parachute regiments track record here.
“I met the junior minister for Foreign Affairs, Conor Lenihan only 2 hours after the incursion. His officials have been in contact with me and are waiting for a resonse from the British security forces. I made it clear to them that I will not accept yet another standard response on this issue. The Parachute Regiment are not welcome in County Louth.”