Despite a major PSNI offensive against republican militarists ahead of election day, a ‘viable’ pipe bomb left outside an election count centre in Derry interrupted counting for several hours early on Friday morning.
After the Templemore Sports Complex was cleared, a controlled explosion was quickly carried out on the vehicle containing the device.
Counting in the Foyle and East Derry constituencies was suspended as a result of the incident for litte over an hour.
On Tuesday, seven men were arrested in a major security operation to disrupt any such attacks.
The arrests came hours after a pipe bomb was thrown at Lurgan PSNI station.
Last week two pipe bombs were defused in the Kilwilkie Road area of the town.
Wednesday night saw several alerts on the eve of the election, particularly in west Belfast, where British army bomb experts carried out at least one controlled explosion on a suspicious vehicle.
On Monday night, there was a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic member of the PSNI in a republican area of Newry, County Down.
The device was thrown at the house, smashing the window and causing minor damage to a wall. No-one was injured.
Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness excoriated those who had temporarily disrupted the count in Derry.
Calling them “the no-hope party”, he said: “These people should stop their stupid activity and go away and give us all peace.”