The PSNI police has described two roadside bombs planted near a roundabout in Newry as a “dangerous but ultimately pointless, cowardly and empty gesture”.
There had been a claim that a bomb had been left in the area, near Cloghogue roundabout last week. There was disruption to both the road and rail network for several days with cross-border rail services halted.
The explosive devices were found following a examination in the Upper Fathom Road area of the city. It is thought they may have been targeting PSNI vehicles.
One had exploded but without damage or injuries, while British army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on the second.
The ‘Real IRA’ were blamed for the devices but there was no immediate claim of responsiblity. It was speculated that the devices may have been timed to coincide with a meeting of the British-Irish Council in Belfast.
There were suggestions that the new bombs may be an indication the group is developing its arsenal.
“At the end of the day, the only ones inconvenienced by this type of activity are local people who use the Upper Fathom Road and those who travel to work in Dublin by train,” said SDLP member Dominic Bradley.
In August last year a number of firebomb attacks targeted major British retail outlets in the town, causing significant damage.