Mortar tube and command wire found during Co.Down security alert

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A mortar tube and command wire have been found during a security alert in Co.Down. 

They were discovered on the Drumnaquoile Road by a member of the public yesterday afternoon. 

A security operation continued until today and the items have been taken for examination. 

Police say it's likely they hadn't been there long, and were probably left by dissident republicans to target officers. 

A PSNI Spokesperson said“We implemented a full and extensive clearance operation in the area following the discovery yesterday afternoon. That operation concluded this afternoon and thankfully nothing further has been found.

"The mortar tube and command wire will now be subject to detailed forensic examination however our initial assessment is the items, which are in a fairly good condition relative to other similar devices we have uncovered, had not been at that location for very long and may even have been there for as little as one day.

"Whilst at this stage, it is too early to attribute ownership to any particular grouping, it is my belief that dissident republican terrorists are responsible and that this find has undoubtedly prevented an attack on local police.

"We know that the vast majority of people support our police officers and simply want to live in a peaceful society. We will continue to work with communities to disrupt the activities of the small group of people who are intent on using violence. "

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