TWO men have been arrested following the discovery of suspected munitions during a search in Co. Derry.
The items, which included Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and a suspected firearm, were found during a search in a residential area by the PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit (TIU).
Police said the operation was part of an ongoing investigation into the New IRA and suspect that the items were intended for use in an attack on officers.
"The seizure of these suspected munitions is hugely significant," said Detective Inspector O'Flaherty of the PSNI.
"We believe these would have been used in a violent attack on police with the aim of killing or, at the very least, causing serious injury."
The suspected firearm, silencer and a quantity of suspected ammunition were recovered during proactive searches in Ballymagroarty on Tuesday.
Also recovered were component parts of pipe bombs and other IEDs, which are now subject to forensic examination.
Two men, aged 36 and 59, were arrested on Tuesday under the Terrorism Act 2000 as part of the TIU operation and remain in custody.
DI O'Flaherty said those responsible for the suspected munitions had nothing but 'contempt' for the community.
"The fact that these items were found in a residential area also underlines the recklessness of those involved," he said.
"It also shows the utter contempt they have for their own communities.
"No community deserves to live under this threat.
"We are carrying out further searches in the area this evening and we understand and appreciate the disruption this will cause, but I want to reassure you of this — our presence in the area and activity we carry out is about keeping people safe.
"That is our priority.
"We will endeavour to work through this operation as quickly as we can, and we will keep you updated with any developments."
'Campaign to kill police'
DI O'Flaherty added that the actions of dissidents were undermining the police's efforts to build community relations.
"Violent Dissident Republicans are immersed in a campaign to kill police," he said.
"They are constantly trying to undermine the work of police to build safer communities.
"Every day police officers come into work, they go out into communities like Ballymagroarty and they work to build relationships and tackle the issues that matter to local people.
"Support and information from the local community is vital to fighting the scourge of terrorism.
"Anything you know, or anything you have seen — share that information with us and help us put these criminals out of business."