Sunday 21 January 2018

Security fears increase as bin bomb injures three children

Aine Kerr Political Correspondent

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Micheal Martin last night condemned a bomb attack in the North in which three children were injured.

The bomb, which exploded in a wheelie bin in Lurgan, Co Armagh, showed a "reckless disregard" for the safety of ordinary citizens, said Mr Martin.

Two 12-year-olds and a two-year-old suffered minor injuries in the attack on Saturday, which is being blamed on dissident republicans.

Bomb disposal experts dealing with weekend alerts in Derry, Newcastle and Belfast came under attack, raising new security fears.

Mr Martin said the perpetrators had shown "reckless disregard" for the safety of the public and members of the PSNI.

"The Irish Government has made absolutely clear that the so-called dissidents should immediately stop any and all acts of terror or violence, that they cannot and will not achieve anything through violence and that they are acting against the expressed will of the people north and south who have overwhelmingly endorsed the Good Friday Agreement ," he stressed.

The bomb attack came after intense speculation that there had been secret talks between the British and Irish governments and dissident republicans.

Warning

The escalating dissidents' campaign is causing increasing concern among security chiefs.

The PSNI yesterday likened the Lurgan attack to the 1998 Omagh bombing because a misleading warning was telephoned to the Samaritans saying the bomb was placed in one area but it detonated in another.

It had apparently been intended to kill or injure police investigating a report of a suspicious object at a nearby school. A number of suspicious objects were later examined in different locations and declared to be elaborate hoaxes.

Chief inspector Sam Cordner said it was an "absolute miracle" that the children were not more seriously injured.

The attack was also condemned by Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson who said it was designed to maim, injure and kill whoever happened to be close by.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called on anyone with any information to contact the authorities.

Irish Independent

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