PSNI targeted in three bomb incidents
A member of the PSNI police discovered a potential bomb under his vehicle in east Belfast last Sunday afternoon, and republican militants are believed to be responsible.
A British army bomb-disposal unit was called to the scene on the upper Newtownards Road and carried out a controlled explosion.
The PSNI said they believed the device had been placed “some time in the last 48 hours” by “those opposed to peace from within dissident republicanism”.
It was the most serious incident in a spate of attacks this week directed against PSNI personnel.
“It is very fortunate that this device was detected before it exploded and that no-one was killed or seriously injured,” a PSNI spokesman said.
The British government, Six County justice minister David Ford and other Stormont politicians all condemned the attack.
Sinn Féin assembly member Alex Maskey said those responsible “have no strategy and no support from the people of Ireland.”
Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor described the latest attack as “utterly reprehensible and to be condemned by all”.
ARMAGH AND DERRY
While statistics have shown that 2012 had the fewest conflict-related deaths since the 1960s, British Army experts have again warned of an increase in activity by the ‘new’ IRA’, Oglaigh na hEireann and other republican armed groups.
Later in the week, a pipe bomb was discovered at the gates of a PSNI barracks in County Armagh. The small device was planted outside Tandragee station on Monday, but did not explode.
Ulster Unionist Newry and Armagh assembly member Danny Kennedy said he was “disgusted” by the incident.
Another pipe bomb style device in Derry also caused houses to be evacuated. It is thought a PSNI member may again have been the target in the incident, which took place on Friday last in the Shantallow area. The viability of the device was not confirmed.
Local Sinn Féin Assembly member Raymond McCartney said those involved had “only succeeded in disruption to the local community and don’t represent anyone”.