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Another bid possible in run-up to elections

By Brian Rowan

Published 23/04/2015

With the election just around the corner, there has been another reminder of the dissident threat.

And it was another near miss.

Once again it was police officers who were the target of a device that was either fired or thrown.

It exploded and vanished in mid air.

"There's nothing to examine," a source commented, meaning that the bomb and all its parts just disappeared.

This has happened before, a little over a year ago when the dissident IRA organisation targeted a police vehicle in a planned ambush on the Falls Road.

On that occasion, a device was triggered by a command wire.

Dissidents claimed the vehicle was struck, but police said the device exploded before reaching its target.

And these are the thin lines between life and death.

Whatever the make-up of this latest bomb, the attack is a reminder that the dissident organisations are still out there and still a threat, however occasional.

A statement from the dissident IRA a year ago boasted of a substantial weapons arsenal - and of plans for more attacks.

However, there has been nothing to suggest a capability or capacity to engage in a sustained campaign or series of actions.

Rather, they have been quieter, slower, less and not more active.

None of this is to dismiss or downplay the threat they still pose.

They haven't gone away, will still raise their heads, will still target police.

And they may well try another attack before the elections next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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