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15 April 1999 Edition

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Armagh arrests ``provocative''

The four men arrested in RUC dawn raids on their homes in South Armagh on Tuesday, 13 April are, contrary to media reports, not being held in connection with the death of Eamon Collins.

Sinn Féin South Armagh Assembly member Conor Murphy called the raids ``provocative harassment''.

Legal sources have told An Phoblacht that the four were questioned for less than an hour on the first day of their detention and were not quizzed about the death of Collins who was killed in January. However, as we go to press, all four men are still being held.

An Phoblacht has also learned that the families of the four men are considering legal action after six vehicles were impounded. The RUC took the vehicles despite not having a warrant to do so.

In all four raids, house contents were wrecked and children terrorised. In one of the raids, walls and ceilings were damaged when helicopters landed in the front garden despite ample open space nearby.

``These arrests are blatantly provocative at this time. They have been carried out as part of a campaign of harassment against these men and there is no justification,'' said Murphy. ``I call on the RUC to release them immediately and to return their vehicles.''
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An Phoblacht
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