Coalisland man among Ronan Kerr murder arrests

A 22-year-old man from Coalisland is among the five men arrested today in connection with the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr.

Update: All five men were later released without charge.

Two police vans were parked on the Washing Bay Road near Springisland Supermarket since early this morning.

Those arrested are aged between 22 and 46. A man aged 27 and a 46-year-old man have been arrested in Toome, along with a man of 37 from Bellaghy and a 33-year-old from Ballyronan.

Constable Kerr, 25, was killed in April when a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car outside his home in Beragh, Omagh.

The arrests were made as part of a major security operation involving up to 200 officers. Police also carried out searches in Coalisland, Toome, Bellaghy and Ballyronan.

All five suspects were arrested under the Terrorism Act and have been taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Antrim police station for questioning.

Items including clothing, mobile phones, computers and vehicles were seized for forensic examination and analysis.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray, said: ”Our determination to pursue every possible line of inquiry remains undiminished.

”The investigation is progressing and police have been encouraged by the support and assistance which has been forthcoming from across the community.

”During this search stage, we would ask for people’s continued patience and co-operation as we work to complete our inquiries to maximum effect, as expeditiously as possible and with the minimum amount of disruption to community life.”

Before Tuesday’s operation, a total of 33 searches had been conducted in connection with Constable Kerr’s murder.

Police said a £50,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Constable Kerr’s murder.


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