Northern Ireland police say suspected IRA dissidents have hijacked and burned vehicles in Catholic parts of Belfast and left suspicious objects near two of the city's police stations.

Monday's destruction in Irish republican enclaves of Belfast caused several roads to be closed and came at the end of a month when IRA dissidents shot to death two soldiers and a policeman. They were the first killings of British security forces since 1998.

Police say disturbances in the Catholic end of Lurgan, a town southwest of Belfast where the dissidents have built a power base, also have forced police to shut part of Northern Ireland's main motorway.