Nine arrested in police arson probe

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Detectives investigating a string of life-threatening arsons at the homes of PSNI officers have made nine arrests.

The serving officers were targeted between April and July last year.

Their vehicles and homes were attacked and in some cases destroyed.

Detectives searched properties in counties Antrim, Armagh and Down yesterday.

Six men and three women aged between 20 and 51 were arrested in Larne, Lisburn, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon on suspicion of offences including arson with intent to endanger lives, theft, conspiracy to cause an explosion and possession of drugs with intent to supply.

Detective inspector Keith Gawley said: “The suspects have been taken to Musgrave Police Station for questioning and a number of items have been removed for further examination.”

He confirmed: “Today’s search and arrest operation is in connection with our investigation into a number of incidents of arson endangering life at the homes of serving police officers in the Banbridge, Portadown and Gilford areas between April and July last year when a number of victims had their vehicles and homes attacked and in some cases destroyed.”

The probe also focuses on alleged drug offences.