PSNI man targeted by under-car device


A PSNI policeman narrowly escaped a limpet mine attack in Derry City in the latest incident being attributed to the breakaway armed group known as the ‘new IRA’

The device reportedly fell from the bottom of a car owned by a member of the force on Wednesday morning, and exploded as British troops were being deployed to deal with it.

The PSNI said the device was more intricate than a basic pipe bomb and described it as an “under vehicle improvised explosive device”. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, which has been condemned by politicians.

British Direct Ruler James Brokenshire described it as “despicable”, while local SDLP MP Mark Durkan warned it would have “repercussions throughout the north”.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood described the bombers as the “enemies of the Irish people”, while the 26 County Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said people had been endangered and there was no excuse for “such irresponsible criminality”.

Those behind the attack have “nothing to offer the community,” Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion said. “There’s no support for these types of action in our community and those responsible have to stop immediately.”

The incident took place in Culmore, in the north of the city and less than a kilometer from the border with Donegal. It is the second direct attack on PSNI personnel in as many months: last month, a PSNI patrol on Belfast’s Crumlin Road was targeted with gunfire.

It also comes amid increasingly visible activity by republican militants on the streets of nationalist areas. They have stepped up their attacks against criminals and those involved in anti-social behaviour with a number of ‘punishment shootings’.

On Wednesday evening, one youth suffered leg injuries as shots rang out under cover of dark during an episode of joy-riding by anti-social elements along the Falls Road.


Meanwhile, the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party) has rejected claims by the PSNI that a find of five pipe bombs and a quantity of ammunition are linked to the INLA (Irish National Liberation Army).

Conway Street in west Belfast was evacuated and a specialist British Army unit was called to the scene as the operation took place on Tuesday.

The INLA, for decades the second largest republican armed group, announced a ceasefire in 1998 and has been inactive since since 2010, when it announced it had completed arms decommissioning.

This week, the IRSP said the reported incident on Conway St was not related to the INLA, and condemned media reports suggesting divisions within their organisation.

“Sinister media speculation of internal conflict within the Republican Socialist Movement is of no substance and is a dangerous but futile attempt to create the perception that we are divided,” they said.

“The Republican Socialist Movement is united on a political path in pursuit of our objectives.”

The IRSP, who traditionally speaks for the INLA, said it was “entirely satisfied” that there was no conflict within the organisation.

“The state arms of the press and the security forces are collaborating to advance a politically motivated campaign against the Republican Socialist Movement.

“This has manifested itself in arrests, violent house raids, the targeting of IRSP members for harassment and character assassinations via numerous newspaper outlets. The events of the past number of days are nothing other than a continuation of this campaign.”

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