Attack on Belfast commercial property
Attack on Belfast commercial property

Two incendiary devices were discovered at a department store in Belfast after one partially detonated in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The first device found, which was described as “viable”, was left at JJB Sports store in the city centre, ignited overnight and was later discovered by staff as they opened the store. A second device was later found at the scene.

British crown forces and firefighters cordoned off the store while military technical experts removed the devices.

The Real IRA is thought to have been behind the incident, the first attack in Belfast city centre for some time.

Last week two incendiary devices -- one of which had partially exploded -- were found in a McDonald’s restaurant in Cookstown, County Tyrone.

British Direct Ruler minister Paul Goggins said those behind the attack were “criminals”.

“This is the work of an isolated group who have no support from across the community and everyone should remain vigilant against this threat.”


Elsewhere, there have been calls for some kind of intervention over an ongoing campaign against nationalists living on a north Belfast street.

Residents on Stanhope Street in Carrick Hill have called for protection for their homes.

The houses were attacked again on Friday evening when stones were hurled across a major road from the loyalist Peter’s Hill.

It is thought a catapult device was used to throw the missiles so far.

Catherine McMahon, an 87-year-old woman who lost her husband just three months ago, had her kitchen and bedroom windows broken in the attack, the latest in a three-year terror campaign.

“My mother suffers from angina,” said her daughter. “I’m just terrified that one of the missiles is going to hit a window she is standing next to and either hit her or give her a heart attack,” she said.

Meanwhile, an Orange lodge in Newry, County Down was broken into on Saturday afternoon.

Windows and other items in the hall were smashed and a memorial tablet dedicated to murdered Orangemen was badly damaged.

Local Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy condemned the attack “wholeheartedly and without reservation”.

All such attacks are wrong and should stop immediately,” he added.

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