Weapons find ‘a blow to dissidents’

By Gemma Burns

Police have recovered what they described as two ‘dissident republican’ firearms during a security alert in North Belfast this week. A 2.2 rifle that had been cut down and a 2.2 pistol were removed from a hedgerow at the back of homes in Etna Drive in Ardoyne. A number of houses were evacuated while the security alert was ongoing on Tuesday afternoon.

A source within the community told the North Belfast News the removal of the two guns is a blow to dissidents in the area.

“They won’t like it that they’ve lost two guns,” said the source. “They need all the ammunition they can get. It shows the way they are in Ardoyne though that they had no one to hide the guns for them and they had to put them in a hedge. They haven’t the support they think they do.”

North Belfast PSNI Superintendent Mark Purdon said lives have been saved by the firearms find.

“The actions of police today have undoubtedly thwarted attempts of these criminals to inflict death, injury and misery on the community of North Belfast.”

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