Explosives cache, bombs found amid Northern Ireland anniversary alert

Northern Ireland police said they found a "significant terrorist hide" containing bomb-making components and explosives Sunday, one day after they reported finding two "viable devices" in Belfast.

"Police uncover significant terrorist hide containing bomb-making components and explosives at Carnfunnock Country Park, near Larne," the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said on Twitter.

The country park is some 30 kilometres north of Belfast, where police found bombs in two residential streets in the west of the city on Saturday after investigating reports of "suspicious objects."

Northern Ireland has been on high alert since a bomb exploded Friday as a van driven by a prison officer drove over it, injuring him and a passenger.

Following the explosion, PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin warned that the territory faces a "severe threat" from "people within dissident republican groupings" in the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. 

The 1916 Easter Rising began when Irish republicans rose against occupying British troops in Dublin. It led to self-government from1921 and the recognition of southern Ireland as an independent republic in 1949, although the six counties of Northern Ireland remaining under British control. 

Northern Ireland was riven by sectarian conflict for 38 years as Catholic nationalists sought a united Ireland and ProtestantUnionists sought to remain in the United Kingdom.

The number of reported attacks declined after the so-called Troubles were brought to a close in 2007 with a peace process that led to power sharing in the territory.

Last update: Sun, 06/03/2016 - 16:28

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