Victims of terrorism who are seeking to sue Libya for supplying the IRA with Semtex are mounting a legal bid to compel the Police Service of Northern Ireland to confirm it was used in deadly attacks.

Lawyers revealed that 13 summons will be issued at the High Court in Belfast in a bid to establish the plastic explosive's presence in bombings which feature in the claims.

The step is being taken in advance of a request for permission to formally serve proceedings on the State of Libya.

Compensation claims are being prepared on behalf of those bereaved and injured in several Troubles-related atrocities.

They include the 1987 Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen, the so-called 'Good Samaritan' attack in Derry in 1988, and the Shankill Road bombing in Belfast in 1993. 

The IRA received secret shipments of weapons from Libya during Muammar Gaddafi's time as dictator - including Semtex for bomb attacks.

Previous efforts to secure payouts for victims of the paramilitary group's campaign have failed, despite Libyan assets having been frozen in the UK.

But claims are now being pursued through the courts in Northern Ireland for the first time.

An estimated $11 billion was seized by the British government after the Gaddafi regime collapsed in 2011.

Belfast legal firm KRW Law is mounting the initiative on behalf of a number of victims, including Seamus Sullivan.

Mr Sullivan was injured in an attack at Falls Baths on the city's Falls Road in 1988. Two civilians and a British soldier were killed in the bombing.

Solicitor Kevin Winters confirmed: "We are now issuing 13 summonses in the High Court in Belfast to compel the PSNI to confirm that Semtex was used in the incidents giving rise to the claims.

"Thereafter, we seek leave of the court to serve proceedings on the State of Libya."

Clarification is also being sought on media reports about an alleged request made to the United Nations for frozen funds to be released to the Libyan Investment Authority.

Mr Winters said the correspondence has been forwarded to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the Foreign Office and the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.