Two major search operations are currently taking place in Derry by officers investigating alleged “violent dissident terrorist activity”.
Dozens of police officers and other security personnel in plain clothes are at the scene of the operations at Ederowen Park and Glendale.
The operations began at around 11am on Wednesday and are centring on two bungalows- one in each area- with some of those involved in the searches wearing white face masks and blue gloves.
A PSNI spokesman said this afternoon: “Detectives from Serious Crime Branch investigating violent dissident terrorist activity are conducting a number of searches in Derry.”
At the scene in Ederowen Park there were four PSNI Land Rovers and a further two jeep-type security force vehicles painted white with fluorescent stripes along the side.
A number of officers could be seen entering and leaving the building, and also searching a grey Land Rover jeep parked on the road close to the address.
At Glendale there was a similar scenario, with three PSNI Land Rovers, armed officers and two of the same unusual white jeeps parked outside the bungalow there.
Officers, again wearing face masks could be seen entering and leaving the dwelling and apparently inspecting the interior.
Independent Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Dee Quigley visited the two areas this morning and said he was “disgusted” at what was taking place.
Colr. Quigley said: “The people of Galliagh and indeed of Derry and beyond do not want to see the sights of British army personnel on the ground in our streets. We were assured as part of the Belfast Agreement that the troops would be taken off the streets.
“It looks to me it’s a case of they haven’t gone away you know.
“It’s bad enough having the Tories in government poised and ready to wield the sword of austerity and cuts at us without them sending in troops to rub salt in the wounds of the people of Derry, given the history the crown forces have with this town.”
SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney, who was also at the scene this morning, expressed concerns that people had not been made aware of the nature of the operations.
Colr. Tierney said local people were anxious at witnessing such large scale operations on their doorsteps without any information about the purpose.