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Dissident bomb 'was meant to kill police'

Police in Northern Ireland are hunting "would-be murderers" who lured officers into a busy neighbourhood before detonating a bomb designed to kill them.

Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process are being blamed for the attack close to Victoria Street in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

PSNI officers were called to the scene near a cross-border railway line after a phone call to the Samaritans on Saturday claiming a device aimed at a police patrol during the early hours had failed to explode.

Homes were evacuated and a hoax device, which was not capable of detonating, was discovered between 4pm and 5pm.

But during a follow-up search to declare the area safe, a suspected anti-personnel bomb designed to "take out officers on foot" exploded.


Superintendent David Moore said the bomb was "significant and absolutely designed to kill".

"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," he said.

"This was a clear and unequivocal murder attempt on the policemen and women who serve the community in Lurgan."

Police also came under attack with petrol bombs and bricks during the security operation.

Mr Moore said the murder attempt bore all the hallmarks of "violent dissident republican terrorists".

Rail services between Belfast and Dublin were disrupted for a time.