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Saturday 25 November 2017

'Substantial' bomb uncovered at Derry courthouse

A substantial and viable bomb was planted near a courthouse in Derry, police in the North said today.

Dozens of elderly residents were moved from a sheltered housing development in in the city due to the alert blamed on suspected dissident republicans.

Choirboys, some as young as seven, were told to get out of the nearby St Columb's Cathedral.

Hearings at the courthouse today have been moved to other courts.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said: "A number of controlled explosions have been carried out and we can now confirm there is a viable device of substantial size."

The area around remains sealed off.

It is two years since the threat from dissident republicans in the North was escalated to severe. The groups have been particularly active in the Derry area.

SDLP Foyle representative Pol Callaghan condemned the disruption.

"This is a totally unacceptable and pointless attack on our city," he said.

"Elderly residents of Alexander House have yet again been put out of their home, causing upset and distress. It has caused widespread disruption to traffic.

"I have met visitors from the US, the Republic and elsewhere whose visits have been affected."

Sinn Fein assembly candidate Martina Anderson said she had a message for the bombers.

"The people's focus will be back on building for the future as soon as the debris is cleared but you will still be stuck in the past with not a progressive thought between you. So get real, pack up your tent and go home," she said.

"The peace and political processes will continue to strengthen in spite of the wreckers."

Press Association

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