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Northern Ireland police arrest man over murder of ex-Belfast leader of Continuity IRA faction

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DUBLIN — Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a man for questioning about the killing of a senior Irish Republican Army hard-liner.

PHOTO: Police officers secure the area close to where a prominent dissident republican was shot dead in west Belfast, Northern Ireland, Friday, April, 18, 2014. A senior Irish Republican Army hard-liner has been shot to death in Belfast three years after former comrades in his splinter group threatened to kill him. Nearby residents say gunmen escorted the victim, 43-year-old Tommy Crossan, to a fuel depot overlooked by houses and shot him in the head and body at close range. No group claimed responsibility. Police and politicians blamed Crossan’s former group, the Continuity IRA, for following through on 2011 death threats against him. The Continuity IRA accused him of keeping money from robberies and providing information on colleagues to British intelligence agents. Crossan denied this and refused to flee his native Catholic west Belfast. The major IRA faction, the Provisionals, renounced violence in 2005 but other militant groups remain active. Their last killing was in October.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police officers secure the area close to where a prominent dissident republican was shot dead in west Belfast, Northern Ireland, Friday, April, 18, 2014. A senior Irish Republican Army hard-liner has been shot to death in Belfast three years after former comrades in his splinter group threatened to kill him. Nearby residents say gunmen escorted the victim, 43-year-old Tommy Crossan, to a fuel depot overlooked by houses and shot him in the head and body at close range. No group claimed responsibility. Police and politicians blamed Crossan’s former group, the Continuity IRA, for following through on 2011 death threats against him. The Continuity IRA accused him of keeping money from robberies and providing information on colleagues to British intelligence agents. Crossan denied this and refused to flee his native Catholic west Belfast. The major IRA faction, the Provisionals, renounced violence in 2005 but other militant groups remain active. Their last killing was in October. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Police said Saturday the 26-year-old man was being questioned about the shooting of Tommy Crossan.

Local residents say that gunmen escorted the 43-year-old Crossan to a fuel depot on Friday and shot him in the head and body at close range. Residents say a Catholic priest was called to give him the last rites.

No group has claimed responsibility, but police and politicians accused Crossan's former group, the Continuity IRA, of following through on 2011 death threats against him.

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