ANTI-TERROR police have been called in to investigate the discovery of guns, explosives and ammunition, thought to be related to Irish terrorism, in an area of Isle of Wight woodland.
As reported last week, part of Parkhurst Forest was cordoned off for five days after a dog walker stumbled across the arms cache on August 24.
Police initially declined to comment on what the items were, despite rumours they included weapons, and said there was no evidence to suggest any threat or danger to the public.
Today, however, police confirmed to the County Press the items included two guns, ammunition and what are believed to be two improvised incendiary devices.
"It is clear from the initial examination of these items that they have been there for several years.
"It is possible they are linked to historic Northern Ireland-related terrorism and for this reason the South East Counter Terrorism Unit is now leading the investigation with support from officers of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Serious Crime Branch.
"There is no indication that the find relates to any current criminal activity," said a spokesman.
Several IRA prisoners were held at Island prisons during the 1970s and 80s and HMP Isle of Wight was informed of the weapons find.
Among those to be held here was Michael Gaughan, who died at Parkhurst in 1974, following a hunger strike. During the 1980s a number of protests were held by IRA supporters outside the jails.