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Second arrest in Northern Ireland policeman murder case

Police have arrested a second suspect in connection with a bomb attack that killed a policeman in Northern Ireland. Both suspects are also being questioned following the subsequent discovery of a large arms dump.

Policeman carrying Ronan Kerr's coffin.

Thousands of mourners gathered at the funeral on Wednesday

Police were questioning a second man on Thursday in the investigation into the murder of Catholic policeman, Constable Ronan Kerr.

Kerr, 25, died outside his home on Saturday when a bomb exploded underneath his car. It is the first fatal attack on a policeman in two years.

A 40-year-old man was detained on Thursday morning after police stopped a car traveling near the market town of Omagh, where the murder took place.

Police were already questioning a 26-year-old man who was arrested in Scotland on Wednesday.

Both men are also being held in connection with the subsequent discovery of a large arms dump which police described as "one of the most significant arms finds in recent years."

Most significant arms find in years

Explosives, detonators, ammunitions and four Kalashnikov rifles have all been uncovered in a garage in County Tyrone, west of Belfast.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but some blame dissident Republicans who are known to target members of the security forces.

Dissident republicans are fiercely opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process and are thought to be trying to deter Catholics from joining the police.

The attack on the young policeman sent shock waves through Northern Ireland. Thousands of people gathered for Kerr's funeral on Wednesday, in a public display of unity.

Cardinal Sean Brady, the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, told mourners: "The people have said 'no, never again', to the evil and futility of violence. They have said an emphatic 'no' to the murder and mayhem of the past.

"Let there be no doubt that the killing of Ronan Kerr was totally unjustified, he added."

Omagh was the scene of Northern Ireland's deadliest terrorist atrocity when a car bomb killed 29 people and injured more than 200 in 1998.

Author: Charlotte Chelsom-Pill, (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

Editor: Nicole Goebel

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