BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) _ The Irish Republican Army said Monday its gunmen killed a building contractor who had been working on police barracks and left his body on a road near the Irish border.

A statement from the outlawed IRA identified the victim as Terence McKeever, owner of an electrical and mechanical engineering firm in Armagh.

The bound and gagged body was found in a country road yards from the border near Newtownhamilton in South Armagh. Police said it wouldn't be removed until the area had been thoroughly checked for booby-trap bombs.

There have been IRA threats against construction workers, warning them to withdraw from jobs on projects for security forces in Northern Ireland.

The IRA statement said McKeever had worked for several years at police and British army barracks in Northern Ireland, a British province, despite the warnings.

'Mr. McKeever gave us, or confirmed for us, a list of a considerable number of contractors presently working at barracks in the north,'' the statement said.

''If they do not withdraw within 24 hours we will take action against them and others supplying materials when they least expect it.''

The mostly Roman Catholic IRA is fighting a guerrilla war to join predominantly Protestant Northern Ireland with the Irish Replublic, which is overwhelmingly Catholic, under a leftist government. Is also is outlawed in Ireland.