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Courthouse car bombers condemned

Dissident republicans who planted a car bomb of up to 800lb outside a court in Northern Ireland are intent on derailing the peace process, political leaders said.

As police said it was a "miracle" no one was injured in the explosion outside Newry courthouse in Co Down shortly after 10.30pm on Monday, the Stormont Assembly opened its proceedings with condemnations of the attack.

The entrance of the heavily fortified court complex were badly damaged in the explosion, which occurred within walking distance of restaurants and bars as police were still evacuating the area.

The attack was the first since the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein successfully brokered the Hillsborough political deal to stabilise the power-sharing administration led by the two parties.

On Tuesday, the deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Danny Kennedy, told the Assembly: "Clearly in the current political climate this attack was designed by republican dissidents to maximise fear and uncertainty and destabilise the authority of our political structures.

"We must not allow that to happen.

"And I trust that the political reaction to this event will be a united response of condemnation and a clear indication that parties elected to this House, and considering these issues, will work together on an all-inclusive basis to ensure that political stability is maintained."

He was joined by representatives of all other parties at the Assembly in condemning the attack.

Press Association

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