Eleven men, including some BBC staff, have been arrested by gardaí in Donegal as part of an ongoing investigation into paramilitary activity.

Four men were arrested by gardaí this afternoon. Yesterday gardaí detained seven men aged between 30 years and 48 years.

The BBC has confirmed that some of its staff are among the 11 people arrested by gardaí in Co Donegal as part of a probe into paramilitary activity.

The journalists were working on an investigation for BBC Northern Ireland's Spotlight programme looking into Real IRA activity in the area.

The BBC said the journalists had full editorial authority under the broadcaster's guidelines.

It is understood the BBC has provided legal representation for the men, who can be held in custody for up to 72 hours.

Seamus Dooley, Irish Secretary of the National Union of Journalists has confirmed the men were NUJ members.

'We would be confident that the BBC would uphold the right of their journalists to protect confidential sources of information,' he said.

The eleven men have been arrested under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

They are being detained at Burnfoot, Letterkenny and Milford Garda Stations.