IRA Splinter Groups Likely Coordinated Attacks

Security forces fear loyalist paramilitaries may respond to killings
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2009 8:55 AM CDT
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers stand next to graffiti supporting the Continuity IRA as they prepare to search houses in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The IRA splinter groups responsible for two separate attacks in Northern Ireland within 48 hours most likely coordinated the attacks, security officials tell the Times of London. Officials say the two attacks point to an unprecedented level of cooperation between the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA—which have no unified command structure—and fear loyalist paramilitaries will soon respond.

The leadership of the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force is believed to have met on Monday—after the shooting of two soldiers but before the shooting of a policeman—and has agreed to continue their ceasefire while keeping a close eye on developments. Leaders of nationalist party Sinn Fein, once the IRA's political wing, joined loyalist politicians in condemning the attacks and calling for a united front against terrorism.