UVF claim pipe bombings
UVF claim pipe bombings

A group calling itself the Protestant Action Force has claimed responsibility for a number of pipe bombs planted in Randalstown outside Belfast overnight.

Three devices were found at three different locations near homes on the Portglenone Road, Station Road and The Meadows estate.

The devices failed to detonate and were defused.

The Protestant Action Force has been used in the past as a name of convenience for the Ulster Volunteer Force.

The UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party has recently suffered a financial sanction by the British government over the continuing activities of the UVF, a move which deeply angered the party.

These attacks appear to represent a negative UVF response to the penalty, and the British government’s Independent Monitoring Commission, which imposed it.

SDLP councillor Donovan McClelland suggested one of the attacks mas motivated by the appearance of a tricolour, but this was angrily rejected by local Sinn Féin representative Martin Meehan, who said the attacks were “blatant sectarianism”.

Meanwhile, a pipe bomb-type device was also found in Maghera, County Derry, on Saturday.

A number of premises in the town, including the hotel were evacuated during a bomb alert.

Sinn Féin MP for Mid Ulster Martin McGuinness said the device could have caused serious injury.

“In recent years there have been a number of incidents of unionist paramilitaries being involved in attacks on Catholics in the Maghera area.”

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