Monday 25 September 2017

Dissidents place bomb under Belfast's main shopping centre

The PSNI Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum said of the incident:
The PSNI Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum said of the incident: "It could have been catastrophic for Belfast and Northern Ireland."

Deric Henderson and Lesley-Anne McKeown

DISSIDENT republicans have tried to blow up a car park underneath Belfast's main shopping centre.

A detonator went off, but it failed to trigger the 130lb (59kg) of home-made explosives inside a beer keg, police said.

The attack on the Victoria Centre signalled a heightened security threat to the city in the run-up to Christmas by terrorists opposed to the peace process.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum said: "It could have been catastrophic for Belfast and Northern Ireland."

The bomb was in the back of a car.

The driver was stopped in the republican Ardoyne district by three masked men wearing boilersuits who ordered him to take the Renault Laguna to the car park. After abandoning the vehicle, he ran across the street to the nearby Musgrave Street police station and raised the alarm.

Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from restaurants and a cinema as Army bomb displosal experts were called in. The detonator went off as they prepared to examine the car.

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