Irish Republican News · February 21, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Bomb alerts in Derry and Belfast


An area around Currynieirin in Derry was closed off for two days this week while an object reported as a “mortar-like device” was recovered. A telephone caller to a local newspaper said an explosive device had been left on a laneway by “the republican movement”.

The PSNI described the device as “significant”, but gave no other details.

Republican armed groups remain active in the Derry area and in recent months, they’ve mounted dangerous attacks. In November, a mortar rocket was fired at a PSNI patrol in the city’s Creggan estate.

Earlier this month, the ‘North Derry Republican Group’ drew attention when they cut down a PSNI roadside camera in rural county Derry.

East Derry DUP MP Gregory Campbell called for more deployment of British Army bomb squads to the Derry area.

“Every time there is an alert in somewhere like Londonderry, bomb disposal officers have to be dispatched from the east of the province with up to a two-hour travel time,” Mr Campbell said.

Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the people behind the alert needed to stop.

Mr McGuinness said: “The only time I hear about British solders being on our streets is through the bomb disposal people, when the dissidents bring them on the streets.

“That needs to send a very clear message to everybody that this nonsensical activity needs to stop.”

He added: “These people need to understand something. If this type of activity didn’t work for 30 years, what makes them think it’s going to work now? It isn’t going to work.”

Two pipe bombs were found in separate locations in the nearby Waterside area later in the week.

British army bomb experts examined a bomb at Trafalgar Court and another at Jeffrey Avenue, both apparently linked to unionist paramilitaries.

The PSNI police blamed “loyalist groupings” for both devices, without further details.

Elsewhere, a pipe bomb was also reportedly found during a security alert in north Belfast. Another alert in west Belfast led to an evacuation after bomb disposal experts were called to a house to deal with a number of rounds of “ammunition”. However, they later turned out to be imitations used as custom buttons on game controllers.

In related news, a former British soldier has pleaded guilty to having bombs at his County Antrim home. John Rankin appeared in the dock at Belfast Crown Court to be arraigned on a single count of weapons possession.

Rankin admitted to having a nail bomb and six blast bombs “in suspicious circumstances” on dates in 2013 and 2014. Rankin was identified by police in England after a parcel containing three pistols was intercepted there.

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