Pipe-bomb disrupts Belfast marathon

Republican dissidents were accused of targeting PSNI police chief constable Hugh Orde with a bomb planted on the route of Belfast’s marathon run on Monday.

After the race got underway, a telephoned warning was given by an anonymous caller to freelance journalist Eamonn Mallie and the race was diverted.

The caller did not give a codeword or name an organisation. “Tell Hugh Orde we will get him next time,” he said.

The device, described as “live” by British forces, was defused.

Mr Orde, who was among the diverted participants, pulled out of the marathon, reportedly due to a leg injury.

Police unusually refused to blame any particular paramilitary organisation regarding the pipe-bomb device, a type normally used by unionist paramilitaries.

A British government spokesman said: “Those responsible for leaving this device were evidently prepared to maim or kill indiscriminately and are clearly enemies of the whole community.”

As he prepared for the last leg of campaigning in the General Election, Mr Adams said he repudiated the planting of the device, and called for more detail about the incident.

Mr Adams said: “The PSNI are always very anxious to point the finger all over the place so let`s get some real information on all of this.

“Having said that, our focus and part of the reasons for the initiative which I took (calling on the IRA to consider abandoning armed struggle) is and was a concern that the peace process is on a downward spiral.

“When you have a vacuum, a prolonged vacuum, then it will be filled by people who do what they did on the route of the marathon and we have to thwart that.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News