Alert continues in Fermanagh following dissident claims

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by Rebecca Black, PA

A security operation in Co Fermanagh is continuing following claims made by dissident republicans.

The PSNI is examining claims made by a person stating they speak for the Continuity IRA that a suspicious device was left in the Wattlebridge Road area of Newtownbutler.

There was also a claim that shots were fired at a police helicopter in the area on January 14.

The PSNI said the police helicopter was not in the area that day. A private helicopter was in the area, however, but did not sustain any damage and its occupant was “unaware of any shots being fired”.

On Friday, four days into the security operation which started on Tuesday, a senior police officer said work is ongoing to ensure the area is safe.

It is expected to continue into the weekend.

Police continue to seal off the Wattlebridge and Cavan Roads in Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh - Alan Lewis pics 

Chief Superintendent Andy Freeburn said: “We would like to thank the local community for their patience and support as we continue to work to make the area around the Wattlebridge Road safe.

“From speaking with the local community, it is clear that the people responsible for this disruption have no support.

“Together with partners on both sides of the border we have been working long hours to progress this complex and difficult operation to a safe conclusion.

“At this stage it is not possible to say when we will complete the search but we anticipate that it will run at least into tomorrow.

“We will continue to facilitate access for the local community. Our main priority continues to be safety of the community, police and partners.”

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