Gerry Adams condemns Armagh explosive device 'designed to kill police'
Published 19/07/2015 | 15:31
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has condemned an attempted bomb attack on PSNI officers in County Armagh.
Police were alerted to a device on Victoria Street in Lurgan last night, and said during their search of the area another explosive went off that was “significant and absolutely designed to kill”.
Mr Adams has said those behind the attack were “entirely unrepresentative of the wider community” in Northern Ireland.
"There is no place for militarist factions who merely serve to drag our society backwards.
“They have no strategy, support or ideas. They should cease their activities,” he added.
Superintendent David Moore said officers were called to the area after a call to the Samaritans yesterday claimed a device aimed at a police patrol during the early hours had failed to explode.
Homes were evacuated once the first device, which was not capable of detonating, was discovered and during a follow up search the second device detonated.
Police then came under attack with petrol bombs and bricks.
"The professional, methodical and diligent way these same officers responded to this incident undoubtedly saved lives, their own and potentially those of local people who were placed in grave danger by the heinous criminals who planted this device," said Supt Moore.
"It is my belief that the phone call and the first device were designed to lure police into the area to be targeted by the second device.
"This was a clear and unequivocal murder attempt on the policemen and women who serve the community in Lurgan."
Supt Moore said a full investigation is under way and he appealed for witnesses to help identify "these would-be murderers".
SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said the device could have caused "devastation" as a nearby GAA club were running events throughout the day.
"This plot was orchestrated to deliberately take the lives of Police officers in Lurgan. Those responsible showed a total disregard not only for the safety of PSNI officers but also for the people of Lurgan - the bombs were planted in an area that thousands of people pass through each day," she said.
"Furthermore, the local GAA club had been running events all day attracting people to the area and there was a real potential for devastation given the location of the devices."