Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

Northern Ireland bomb attack: Deliberate attempt to ‘lure and murder’ police officers | UK | News

The device detionated at around 10.35am on Cavan Road, in Newtownbutler.

The explosion took place just near the border with the Republic of Ireland.

Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) believe the bomb was a trap designed to injure or kill police officers.

Police were in the area during the time of the blast as part of a security operation.

It followed a tip-off on Saturday evening that a suspect device had been left on a nearby road at Wattle Bridge.

But the initial device found was a hoax.

The second debvice exploded during a search of a wider area this mhundred yards from the site of the hoax device.

PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: ““Although this device was intended to kill police and army personnel the fact that it was placed on a main road the result could well have been devastating for anyone in the immediate vicinity.

“While this investigation is at an early stage I am of the firm belief this was a deliberate attempt to lure police and ATO [Ammunition Technical Officer] colleagues into the area to murder them.

“This attack was indiscriminate and reckless an, whilst there is no doubt in my mind that police responding to this call were the target, the reality is that anyone could have been caught up in the explosion.”

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney condemned the attempt to “injure or kill” police officers.

He tweeted: “I condemn in strongest possible terms this attempt to injure or kill PSNI officers. Terrorism+bombing has no support, no place + no justification ever!

“We support fully ⁦@PoliceServiceNI⁩ in difficult work they do + all others should do the same.”

Meanwhile, DUP leader Arlene Foster blamed “republican terrorists” for the bomb.

She tweeted: “It’s time they left the stage and allowed everyone to move on.

“This was a clear attempt to kill.”

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar blasted those responsible for the attack.

Mr Varadkar said: “There is never any justification to use violence to achieve political aims.

“The people of Ireland, North and South, had their say on this issue when they voted overwhelmingly and emphatically for the Good Friday Agreement.”

Dissident republicans continue to target members of the security forces in Northern Ireland including the Continuity IRA and the New IRA groups.

Police believe one of the groups are responsible for the blast.

Chief Constable Martin said during a press conference: “It is very early in the investigation.

“We have located the seat of the epxlosion, there is damage in and around that seat. If a person was standing close to it they would have been badly inured or killed.

“Everything points to this device being placed to catch police or army lured by that phone caall, to try and kill them.”

But as yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the bomb.

No casualties have also been reported as a result of the blast.

This is a breaking story. More to follow…

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