Dissident republicans blamed for Fermanagh roadside bomb
Dissident republicans may have been behind a weekend security alert in which a device — understood to be a roadside bomb — was uncovered by police.
Officers were alerted to the object following two separate telephone warnings on Saturday about a suspicious device in the Wattlebridge area of Co Fermanagh, where the main A3 Clones to Cavan Road meets the B533 road from Newtownbutler.
The area was sealed off throughout Saturday and Sunday while police carried out a search.
Residents were asked not to touch anything suspicious and contact police, prompting fears that a second device may have been hidden in the area.
Members of the public were warned not to approach the search area.
Parents were this morning being warned that school bus runs in the vicinity could be affected by the ongoing security operation.
Police said last night that it was “too early” to say who was behind the alert.
The incident bears similarities to earlier attempts at roadside bombings which have been blamed on dissident republicans.
Fermanagh and South Tyrone Assemblyman Tom Elliott condemned those responsible.
“Aside from the disruption there is the threat to life which is the big problem.
“This is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ someone is going to be killed or seriously injured,” Mr Elliott said.
Police are asking anyone who finds anything suspicious to contact their local police station.
PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has warned of the threat dissident republicans pose in Northern Ireland.
“The threat is high in certain parts of Northern Ireland,” he said recently.
“But they are badly disrupted, they are marginalised, they’re fighting with each other so they are not at the same level and they don’t have the capacity in our judgment to carry out an outrage on the scale of Omagh.
“But they still pose a threat to the public and to the police. Their focus is clear.
“They are determined to kill a police officer, they are focused on killing a police officer and that is where our efforts are going.”