Bomb found close to G8 summit venue
Published 23/03/2013 | 12:01
A bomb has been found close to the venue for this summer`s G8 conference of world leaders in Northern Ireland.
It was made safe in an abandoned car in Co Fermanagh - just 16 miles from the exclusive Lough Erne golf resort hosting this June's summit. The PSNI said it was probably intended to attack a nearby police station.
There has been a heavy security presence in the area ahead of the G8. Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process and responsible for a series of previous shootings and bombings are prime suspects.
PSNI district commander Pauline Shields said: "The people responsible for this have no regard for the lives of anyone in our community. It is fortunate that no-one was killed or seriously injured as a result of this reckless act."
US president Barack Obama, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian president Vladimir Putin are among those expected to attend the G8 meeting at Lough Erne near Enniskillen.
The security alert over the bomb on the Derrylin Road, Enniskillen, has ended. Although investigations are at an early stage, police believe the vehicle containing the device was destined for Lisnaskea PSNI station, situated near homes and a church. Residents near the scene of the alert were evacuated from their homes and Army technical officers carried out a clearance operation on the car.
Ms Shields added: "Once again our community has been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by an element intent on causing loss of life and disruption. The people who carried out this act are not part of the society within which the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to live. The subsequent complex operation has tied up resources that would otherwise be dealing with community issues."
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "Those responsible for it have neither mandate nor legitimacy; they are totally out of touch with what the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want. Acts like this only serve to strengthen our resolve against those terrorists who have nothing to offer Northern Ireland except mayhem and destruction."
DUP Stormont MLA Arlene Foster said those responsible were intent on taking life. "Had this bomb been detonated in that locality there would have been carnage," she warned.
Police said the device was onboard a Silver Volkswagen Bora car, abandoned on the Derrylin Road in the early hours of Friday. It consisted of approximately 60 kg of homemade explosives contained in a beer keg. The vehicle and bomb have been taken for further forensic examination.