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Army drafted in for weapons search as gang warfare spirals out of control

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Gardai and Army personnel searching an area on Waterville Road, Blanchardstown.

Gardai and Army personnel searching an area on Waterville Road, Blanchardstown.

Gardai and Army personnel searching an area on Waterville Road, Blanchardstown.

Specialist soldiers have been carrying out searches as part of a Garda crackdown on feuding gangs in Dublin.

Military personnel were drafted in after a loaded firearm fitted with a silencer was recovered from a wooded area in Blanchardstown earlier this week.

The operation was targeting a criminal gang involved in the violent Corduff feud in the west of the city.

Up to 20 members of an Army Engineer specialist search and clearance team helped gardaí yesterday during the follow-up search off Waterville Road.

The units searched for almost eight hours from 8am yesterday until 3.45pm.

Gardaí found a number of shotgun cartridges.

A spokesman for the Defence Forces said the public should notify gardaí and keep a safe distance if they encountered suspicious items or hazardous substances.

Gardaí had feared that more weapons were being hidden in the wooded area by a crime gang led by a 22-year-old criminal.

The gang are currently involved in a feud with former associates of the notorious Westies gang, which has resulted in a spate of shootings and petrol bomb attacks.

Gardaí and military personnel were seen at the site yesterday afternoon equipped with metal detectors, slash-hooks and pitchforks.

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The thorough searches are being carried out following the finding of a firearm on Tuesday.

Violent

It is suspected the weapon, a Makarov handgun loaded with seven bullets, could have been used in a retaliation attack by the crime gang.

The violent feud is not believed to be linked to the spate of murders in Dublin over the last week.

Gardaí suspect the firearm recovered belonged to associates of a man recently targeted in a drive-by shooting

On Tuesday of last week, a gunman opened fire in a reckless drive-by shooting shortly after 9pm in the Mulhuddart area. A 23-year-old criminal, closely connected to the mob boss feuding with former Westies associates, was the intended target.

In total, three shots were fired at his car, and sources have said his young baby was in a child's seat in the back of the vehicle at the time of the attack.

A 22-year-old woman was also walking towards the car when shots were fired in the drive-by gun attack but was not injured.

Dozens of firebomb attacks, shootings and punishment beatings linked to the ongoing feud have been carried out in recent months.


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