Irish Republican News · January 30, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: UDA using powerful flares as bombs
UDA using powerful flares as bombs

Unionist paramilitaries are using nautical distress flares as booby-trap devices, the PSNI police has revealed.

One hundred times more powerful than a standard firework, a batch of 80 flares were taken from Dunmurry business premises in February last year.

The ``crude but effective'' devices were used in two separate attacks this week, a PSNI spokesman confirmed. It is understood they are primed so that any movement triggers them.

The UDA was blamed for leaving a device at the gates of a west Belfast GAA club on Sunday while a second security alert centred on a west Belfast home the following day.

Describing the incident at the Lamh Dhearg GAC on the Springfield Road as an ``indiscriminate attack which could have killed or maimed'', the PSNI warned that flares are ``powerful devices''.

``These devices are not terribly sophisticated, they are quite crude but are effective,'' he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler said the revelations were a ``worrying development''.

``Nationalists need to be extra vigilant in the wake of this because these things have the potential to seriously injure and kill people,'' Mr Butler said.

He said he did not accept a police assertion that they did not know which loyalist group was using the flares.

``They are quick to bring out other intelligence reports about who they think is involved in other activity. There seems to be an acceptable level of violence when it emanates from loyalists,'' he said.

The Police Ombudsman is to be asked to investigate the PSNI's failure to secure potential evidence left at the scene of Sunday's security alert.

UDA OFFICE ATTACKED

An attempted bomb attack at a UDA prisoners' aid office in north Belfast yesterday has not been claimed by any other paramilitary group.

Three controlled explosions were carried out on the device, which was described as ``viable''. It had been strapped to the inside main door of the premises used by members of the Ulster Political Research Group, which represents the unionist paramilitary UDA in talks.

Spokesman Sammy Duddy said those responsible broke into the office via the rear of the building before taping the device to the back of the main door.

The UDA representative said someone could have been killed if the device had exploded.

Duddy was among a group who met Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for talks earlier this week. Some suspect the bomb was placed by rival loyalists opposed to such talks. However, Mr Duddy accused dissident republicans of planting the device.

``They would hope that by pursuing an action like that there would be retaliation and I hope that will not be the case.''

© 2004 Irish Republican News