Two men arrested during a police operation which recovered suspected guns, ammunition and a suspected pipe bomb were “willing to endanger life”, the district police chief has said.
Detectives from PSNI Serious Crime Branch investigating dissident Republican activity confirmed that a number of suspected firearms, a quantity of ammunition and a suspected pipe bomb were recovered following a police stop of two vehicles in the Northland Road area of the city at around 8pm on Friday.
The Northland Road was closed and a number of properties were evacuated while ATO officers examined the scene. Two men aged 20 and 54 were arrested at the scene and taken to Antrim Serious Crime Suite for questioning. Various items, including a vehicle, were seized in follow up searches at properties in the area. The Northland Road re-opened and residents were allowed back to their properties at around 5.30am.
District Commander Chief Superintendent, Stephen Cargin, yesterday praised the officers involved in the operation. He said: “We have seen again the blatant disregard of those individuals willing to endanger life in our community. I have nothing but praise for the officers involved in the operation. I would also like to thank members of the community for their patience as we continued our investigations. Police would ask that everyone in the community continue to work with us to take weapons off our streets and put those responsible behind bars,” he added.
SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan, commended the PSNI. “There is certainly relief in the city today that another successful police operation has led to the removal from our streets of instruments of death and destruction. While it is alarming and depressing that there are still people out there intent on waging their warped war, it’s encouraging that the police have scuppered their evil intentions.”
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin said that arms on the street was a “very worrying development”.