The organisation known as the new IRA has said it struck a PSNI armoured vehicle with an ‘explosively formed projectile’ (EFP) in County Tyrone last week.
A number of PSNI police were patrolling Strabane in west Tyrone when an explosion took place at Townsend Street. The PSNI said the attack had been carried out by a “roadside bomb with command wire attached”. No-one was injured in the attack, although members of the PSNI patrol were reported to be suffering from shock.
A number of the home-made EFP rockets, similar to horizontal mortars, have been used in recent years by the new IRA in attacks in Belfast and Derry. In August 2015, a mortar rocket was previously discovered and disarmed in Strabane.
In their statement, the organisation said “the EFP contained Semtex and was triggered by command wire at the target from nine feet”. They also said the EFP was moved from another location to avoid civilian vehicles.
The bomb attack was strongly condemned by politicians. Policing Board member and SDLP assembly member Daniel McCrossan said: “Such attacks on the PSNI have no place in a modern progressive society.”
In the days after the attack, a major PSNI operation was launched to raided the homes of a number of republicans in Newtownstewart and Strabane. Two members of the Saoradh political party were taken to Musgrave Barracks for interrogation.
The party said on Monday that a number of homes of its activists were “wrecked and continue to be occupied by the British Constabulary”.
They added: “British state violence towards Republican activists has of course been met with silence by the local hypocrites, who usually fall over themselves in the rush appease their British paymasters”