Tuesday 21 February 2017

Letter bomb found at sorting office near Belfast

Published 12/07/2014 | 08:36

Letter bomb found at sorting office near Belfast
Letter bomb found at sorting office near Belfast

A letter bomb has been found at Northern Ireland's main postal sorting office in Northern Ireland.

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It was recovered at the distribution centre at an industrial estate in Newtownabbey, near Belfast.

The device marks the re-emergence of a terror tactic formerly used by paramilitaries during the Troubles.

Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process have used packages in the recent past to target high-profile figures including Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers.

The alert was declared as Northern Ireland prepares to mark the culmination of the unionist marching season - a time when the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is mounting a massive policing operation and major efforts have been made to ensure a fragile peace is kept.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: "Police are currently attending a security alert following the discovery of a suspicious package at the postal sorting office in Mallusk Road, Newtownabbey."

Army bomb disposal experts were sent to the scene.

A series of letter bombs sent to Army recruiting offices in England have been blamed on dissidents.

In October last year dissidents also sent a series of explosives to high-profile political and security figures in Northern Ireland.

One was addressed to the seat of the power-sharing executive at Stormont Castle in Belfast, addressed to Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers.

Another was delivered to the office responsible for court prosecutions in Derry while two explosive packages - one addressed to former PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott and the other to one of his senior commanders - were intercepted at Royal Mail offices in Belfast and Lisburn.

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