Wednesday 24 January 2018

Lucky escape as bomb falls off police worker's car

A civilian police worker escaped injury today when a suspect booby trap bomb fell off his car in Co Tyrone.

The apparent murder bid by dissident republicans in Cookstown is the third such attack within a week.

It is understood the man was driving his car along Sweep Road when the suspicious item fell off at around 8am, prompting a major security alert.

Around 100 residents, a local creche and a number of businesses were evacuated.

Last week, viable devices planted under the cars of an Army major and a policewoman in separate incidents in Co Down also failed to explode.

In another attack last Tuesday, a 200lb bomb left in a hijacked taxi detonated outside a police station in Derry, causing substantial damage but no injuries.

SDLP Assembly member Patsy McGlone condemned the latest incident.

"Campaigns of violence and intimidation had no justification in the past and have no justification now," he said.

"We cannot allow another generation of victims to be created by those with no regard for the future of this country or its people.

"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Cookstown community are with the victims of this outrage.

"If putting people out of their homes, if disrupting businesses, if putting young children out of a creche is liberating Ireland, then it's a liberation we can do without."

It is understood the device partially detonated as it fell on to the road.

Army bomb disposal officers were at the scene.

Sinn Fein MLA Francie Molloy hit out at those behind the botched bombing.

"This attack on a civilian worker is wrong," he said.

"He has had a very lucky escape with the device only partially exploding. This man has the right to work anywhere he wishes and should not come under any threat in doing so.

"The groupings behind this, and other attacks earlier in the week, need to come forward and tell the people of Ireland how this will advance the goal of achieving a united Ireland.

"Certainly the overwhelming number of republicans have endorsed a peaceful strategy to achieve this goal through moving society forward in a progressive way, not by reckless bomb attacks.

"These groups need to reflect on the political realities of Ireland in 2010. They have little or no support and it is very clear that armed actions have no place in today's society."

Press Association

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