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Mar 10,2009
IRA dissidents claim cop's shooting
by UPI

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - A dissident Northern Ireland Republican splinter group says it's responsible for the slaying of a police officer in Craigavon.

The Continuity IRA, which maintains strongholds in Craigavon and nearby Lurgan, delivered a coded message to authorities claiming the Monday close-range shooting of Constable Stephen Carroll, 48, was carried out by its North Armagh battalion, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

"As long as there is British involvement in Ireland, these attacks will continue," the message reportedly said.

"This will not put off me or my officers delivering the service we do, to the communities we are paid to protect," Chief Constable Hugh Orde told reporters in Belfast. "That will continue, unrelenting."

Orde said the shooting, which closely followed the slayings of two British soldiers by a separate Republican dissident group, appeared to have been a set-up after police responded to a call from a hysterical woman who reported a gang had broken a window in her home.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Tuesday described Carroll's slaying as the work of "murderers who are trying to distort, disrupt and destroy a political process that is working for the people or Northern Ireland," The Times said.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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