Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Pipe bombers 'trying to murder'

Police believe pipe bombers who targeted a newly-retired police officer in Northern Ireland were trying to murder

Pipe bombers who targeted a recently-retired police officer's home in Northern Ireland were attempting to murder, police said.

The viable device was placed at the entrance to her house near Banbridge in Co Down. Dissident republicans have attempted to kill many members of the security forces in recent years.

The attack happened in Lawrencetown, a small village on the River Bann, between the towns of Portadown and Banbridge, on Thursday morning but has just been publicised by police. Locals were forced to leave their homes and roads were closed until the explosive was made safe.

Police Service of Northern Ireland chief superintendent Alasdair Robinson said: "This was an attempt to murder a police officer and the people behind this have shown a complete disregard for the entire community in Lawrencetown. Had this device exploded, anyone unfortunate enough to be passing by could have been seriously injured or killed."

Army bomb disposal experts examined the suspicious object and carried out a controlled explosion. It was found to be a viable pipe bomb.

Mr Robinson said: "Officers will not be deterred from protecting their communities. We are continually working with you to provide the personal service you want and I would ask you to continue to support us as we carry out a professional investigation into this attack. We are working to put together a full picture of any activity in the area over the last few days."

He appealed for anybody with information to contact detectives.

The victim was left badly shaken by the incident.

Ulster Unionist assembly member Jo-Anne Dobson condemned the attack: "This is a throwback to the past and many within our local community had felt that these incidents had been confined to the dustbin of history," she said.

"Those who chose to leave this device clearly have little care for those who could have been killed as a result. It will have been frightening for residents and serves absolutely no purpose but to disrupt. These attacks only succeed in galvanising the determination of law-abiding citizens to make sure these people do not impose their will and disrupt normal life."

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