SF 'can't escape blame' for renewal of violence
UNIONISTS are putting Sinn Fein under heavy pressure over decommissioning following the disclosure that ex-Provisional IRA members murdered police officer Ronan Kerr.
Questions have been raised over how republicans who left the Provisional movement are using IRA arms which were supposed to have been decommissioned years ago.
In a statement yesterday, a group of former Provisional members claimed responsibility for killing the young PSNI graduate in Omagh three weeks ago and vowed to carry out further attacks. They said they weren't dissidents and stated: "We are the IRA."
Sinn Fein denied the group's claim to have taken over the IRA's mantle and said Constable Kerr's killers had only "a wrecking agenda".
However, Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliot said Sinn Fein couldn't escape blame for current republican violence.
"The so-called dissidents are following Sinn Fein/IRA training manuals and tactics."
A Sinn Fein spokesman said the killers had no right to call themselves mainstream republicans. "They are not the IRA. The IRA left the stage in 2005."