Police question man over abduction

A man was being questioned today by detectives investigating an abduction blamed on the Provisional IRA.

Brendan Rice, 38, was seized at his home in Newcastle, Co Down at the weekend by a gang of masked men.

It is believed Mr Rice was beaten before being bundled into a white van and driven away. He was released the following day.

Mr Rice’s brother, Sean, could give no reason for the kidnapping, but claimed mainstream republicans carried out the operation.

“This was carried out by the Provisional IRA, I have no doubt about that,” he said.

As detectives probed the incident, police confirmed a man had been arrested.

The IRA has also been blamed for another two abductions involving alleged dissident republicans.

Steven Moore, a member of the Real IRA-linked 32 County Sovereignty Committee, was taken from a house in south Belfast earlier this month. He was released unharmed 24 hours later.

But many believe south Armagh man Gareth O’Connor, a 24-year-old accused of Real IRA membership, is already dead.

He has not been seen alive since he left home to travel to a garda station in Co Monaghan.

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