Northern Ireland dissident republican paramilitary groups to merge

Some of Northern Ireland's dissident republican paramilitary groups are to come together under the banner of the IRA, a statement has claimed.

The statement "signed army council IRA", said a number of organisations were unifying under one leadership.

It said there had been a failure among Irish nationalist leaders and there was a "necessity for armed struggle."

The Guardian reported the new force would include a number of known dissident republican groups.

The newspaper said the Real IRA had been joined by Republican Action Against Drugs and a coalition of independent armed republican groups and individuals, some of whom are believed to have been involved in the murder of 25-year-old Catholic Constable Ronan Kerr in 2011.

This is a grouping which could bring several hundred armed dissidents together.

The coalition said it would intensify attacks on security forces and other British-related targets.

However, police have said the threat posed by dissident republicans has not been changed since the announcement was made.