Republicans helped in murder arrests - Robinson

FIRST Minister Peter Robinson has revealed information from republicans assisted the police in arresting suspects over recent terrorist murders.

The DUP leader confirmed he has been told by the PSNI that information they had received from republican areas in relation to the deaths of two soldiers and a police officer had proved beneficial in their investigations.

Mr Robinson welcomed the "transformed situation" in terms of co-operation.

"The PSNI told me that information received from the republican community has played a crucial role in the arrests and charges in connection with both murder incidents," he said.

"Not only have there been a greater number of people ringing the Crimestoppers line but the quality of information has been very helpful, especially from people living in the areas from which the dissident republican terrorists come."

Mr Robinson added Sinn Fein's condemnation of the killings had been brought about after years of negotiations.

"Recent events also demonstrate why the DUP was right to insist on republican support for the police and the rule of law for those who would be ministers in a Northern Ireland administration before the institutions were re-established," he said.

Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar were shot dead outside Massereene Army barracks in Antrim earlier this month.

PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll was murdered while on duty in Craigavon only 48 hours later.

Dissident republicans claimed responsibility for both attacks.