The Real IRA has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack against a member of the British Crown forces in County Tyrone on Monday of last week.
Tensions have continued in the area since the booby-trap device exploded outside the town of Castlederg, seriously injuring the PSNI policeman.
The Real IRA has warned of further attacks against the Crown forces following the attack. In its claim, the group stated that high-powered semtex explosive had been used in the sophisticated device which was attached to the underneath of the PSNI man’s vehicle.
Such an attack was last mounted by the Real IRA against a member of the British Army six years ago
In a statement claiming responsibility for the bomb attack, the Real IRA said: “We reserve the right to strike against organs of the British state and its infrastructure in a manner of our choosing, at a time and place of our choosing, in the six counties and elsewhere. As we continue to strengthen our military capacity, this will be demonstrated.”
A series of raids and arrests were carried out in Counties Derry and Tyrone amid initial reports that a smaller republican group, using the name Oglaigh na hEireann, were involved.
DUP assembly member Maurice Morrow said he hoped the arrests was not a case of the police making arrests “to give the impression they are on top of things”.
A number of those arrested were later released.
Meanwhile, two fire bombs -- one of which had partially exploded -- were found this week in a McDonald’s restaurant in Cookstown, also in County Tyrone.
Staff in McDonald’s found the devices on Wednesday, sparking a major bomb alert. A similar, partially exploded device was found in the Toymaster store on Dungannon Road in the town two weeks ago.
Sinn Féin councillor Sean Begley said the PSNI raids in the area had been heavy handed.
He said a pregnant woman due to give birth next week, an elderly couple and a teenage girl living alone had been traumatised by the dawn raids.
“Regardless of the stated background to these searches there is no justification for such heavy handed tactics and I will raising serious issues of concern this with the District Commander and within the local DPP,” he said.