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French and Irish police arrest seven with suspected links to Real IRA

French and Irish police conducted a joint security operation against suspected supporters of the dissident Northern Ireland paramilitary faction, the Real IRA, arresting seven people in northwestern France and Ireland. Five French nationals from the Brittany region were detained at dawn following the discovery of a cache of firearms — two machine pistols, an automatic pistol and several magazines of ammunition — buried in a forest near the Normandy port of Dieppe. Later Irish police detained two men for questioning outside Dublin as part of the same investigation. “This is a joint operation into the activities of the Real IRA and was intelligence-based,” a statement from the Garda, Ireland’s police service, said. French officials said the arms cache had been under surveillance for several weeks and that the detainees had telephone contacts with suspected members of the Real IRA, a breakaway faction of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that has rejected moves towards a negotiated peace settlement in Northern Ireland. Full Story

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