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Two unrelated AK-47 rifle seizures made within hours of one another

GARDAI have seized another AK-47 assault rifle -- just hours before a second was found 30 miles away.

Two of the deadly automatic weapons, which have a rate of fire of 600 bullets a minute, have now been recovered by detectives in Wicklow and Kildare.

On Wednesday night, armed detectives stopped a van in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow and found an AK-47 rifle, a pistol and ammunition for the guns still in its packaging.

Two men from Northern Ireland were arrested and their time in detention was extended last night, a Garda spokesman said.

The two men were still being questioned in Baltinglass Garda Station today. It's understood that the weapon was being transported by subversives when it was intercepted.

The seizure was made hours before gardai captured another AK-47 in an unrelated operation targeting the 'Fat' Freddie Thompson gang in Straffan, Co Kildare.

The AK-47 is the most widely used hand-held weapon in the world. The weapon can be fired fully automatically, meaning that a 30-round magazine of steel jacketed bullets can be emptied in under two seconds.