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Oz warns travellers of terrorist threat here

AUSTRALIA has revised its travel advice for Ireland because of the dissident republican threat.

However, no distinction is made between Northern Ireland and the rest of the country.

Travellers from Down Under have been told to be careful about their security.

Earlier this year, police said the danger from dissidents was at its worst since the 1998 Real IRA Omagh bomb which killed 29 people.

There have been failed bomb attacks on the security forces and one in Lurgan, Co Armagh, this month in which three children were injured.

A statement for the Australian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said: "We advise you to be alert to your own security in Ireland."

Last month there was serious sectarian rioting in north Belfast's Ardoyne, linked to the loyalist orders' marching season. After a parade on July 12 through the nationalist area, 80 police officers were injured in days of clashes. Missiles were hurled by youths and a piece of masonry dropped on a policewoman's head.

There have been tensions connected with parades in other parts of the country, including Rasharkin, Co Antrim.

Dissident republicans have stepped up activities and planted devices under cars aimed at members of the security forces, which have failed to explode.

In Lurgan, three children including a toddler aged two, were hurt in a blast police said was intended to kill officers.

Last night a viable device was discovered in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

The Australian government tells its citizens Ireland has "a low incidence of serious, violent crime".

"Petty crime, including bag snatching, smash and grab from cars, and pickpocketing, is common, particularly in city centres and areas frequented by tourists.

"Car theft is increasing, especially in Dublin, and rental cars are particularly targeted. Credit card fraud and ATM scams are becoming more common," the advice says.