DETECTIVES from the Terrorism Investigation Unit conducted searches in Irvinestown on Tuesday as part of an ongoing operation into the activities of the Continuity IRA (CIRA).

There were also searches carried out in North Lurgan and Castlederg.

Since January, CIRA have claimed responsibility for security alerts at Wattlebridge and Enniskillen.

The terrorist group claims to have fired at a police helicopter at Wattlebridge and Enniskillen Police Station with “high-velocity rounds”.

Republican Sinn Féin released a statement in the wake of the searches, describing them as “heavy-handed British Crown Forces raids”.

The statement continued: “Houses were searched and items taken from properties such as clothing, including shoes, socks, trousers, jumpers, hoodies, and coats.

“Also, all electronic equipment was taken, including phones, laptops and children’s tablets, leaving the occupants with what they had on them at the time of the searches.

“Houses were wrecked and vehicles were seized in both premises in co-ordinated raids in North Fermanagh and West Tyrone.”

Republican Sinn Féin also claimed that they believed there were “two British reconnaissance aircraft, maybe drones, hovering high in the sky” in Rosslea on Tuesday night.

At the time of going to print, the PSNI had no further details from the searches and would not confirm if the searches were related to the recent security alerts in Fermanagh, which the dissident Republican group claimed responsibility for.