Northern Ireland Police Find Bomb Parts in Rural Park

Updated on
Weapons haul found in forest park

Police at Carnfunnock Country Park on March 6, 2016.

Source: PA via AP Photo

London (AP) -- Detectives have found "a significant terrorist hide," including explosives and bomb parts, in a rural park in Northern Ireland, police said Sunday.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said officers uncovered the stash at Carnfunnock Country Park, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Belfast, after a passer-by reported a suspicious object on Saturday. Police found several buried plastic barrels containing "a significant amount of bomb making components including partially constructed devices and a small quantity of explosives."

The discovery comes after police warned that Irish Republican Army splinter groups might try to kill police, prison officers or soldiers before the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, a 1916 Irish rebellion against British rule.

On Friday, a prison officer was badly injured when a booby-trap bomb exploded under his van in Belfast.

While the major IRA faction has observed a cease-fire since 1997 and officially disarmed in 2005, smaller rival groups all styling themselves the "true" IRA continue to plot gun and bomb attacks.

The bomb parts were discovered in a largely British Protestant area, and Detective Chief Inspector Gillian Kearney said "it is too early to link these items to any particular grouping" among Northern Ireland's Catholic or Protestant militants.

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