Two arrested after gunpoint hijack near church

time:2023-06-04 16:22:49 source:Al Jazeera

Two men have been arrested after a car was hijacked near a church outside Omagh in County Tyrone.

The motorist was held at gunpoint by three masked men and forced to drive a suspicious object to a police station at about 22:00 BST on Saturday.

pursueing a search in Omagh on Sunday, a 56-year-old man was arrested. A further search in Strabane led to a 29-year-old man being arrested.

Two vehicles were seized for forensic examination, police have said.

Both search and arrest operations were carried out under the Terrorism Act.

The men have been taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Musgrave Police Station for questioning.

The hijacking happened near Fireagh Road, off the Dromore Road.

Sunday Mass was cancelled at the nearby St Mary's Church as a result of the incident, while police searched the grounds.

Speaking following the security alert, Fr Eugene Hasson from St Mary's said it "shouldn't be going on at all" and was "very disruptive to people".

The road and church have since reopened and the security alert has now ended, police said.

There was also a security alert around the police station on the Derry Road in Omagh, with several homes evacuated on Saturday night.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Insp Will Brown said the incident caused disruption to the local community.

He said he was grateful for the public's patience and understanding during the police activity.

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