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Report: Ira Planned To Bomb Chunnel

Sun., Sept. 29, 1996

Four men were charged Saturday with terrorist offenses in connection with a series of police raids on suspected Irish Republican Army arms caches that netted 10 tons of explosives.

One man, identified as 27-year-old Diarmuid O’Neill, was shot and killed by police during the raids in London on Monday.

Scotland Yard said Patrick Kelly, Brian McHugh, James Murphy and Michael Phillips, aged between 21 and 30, have been charged with conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life, and with possession of explosives.

In addition to the huge quantity of homemade explosives seized, police also found two pounds of plastic explosives, three rifles, two handguns and detonators.

The discovery of the arms and explosives undermined claims by the IRA-allied Sinn Fein Party that it is committed to peace, and dampened speculation that the IRA might call another cease-fire in a bid to join talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

A report in London’s Sunday Times said O’Neill was planning to black out the Channel tunnel, which would cripple rail travel between England and continental Europe. The report quoted unnamed security sources.

Police spotted O’Neill surveying the power plant next to the English outlet of the “Chunnel” in July, The Sunday Times reported.

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