Belfast Telegraph

Bomb attack on police vehicle in Derry blamed on dissident republicans

By Eamonn MacDermott

Dissident republicans are being blamed for what appears to have been a bomb attack on a police vehicle in the Creggan area of Londonderry last night.

The PSNI vehicle, believed to have been an unarmoured Mitsubishi Shogun-type four-wheel-drive was travelling along Circular Road towards Creggan Heights when there was a loud explosion from the left hand side of the vehicle.

Local people claimed the 4x4 had been damaged in the incident but still managed to drive off.

There was some debris that appeared to have come from the vehicle lying in the vicinity of the attack. A large hole seemed to have been blown in a hedge and unconfirmed reports suggested that a wire or cable could be seen leading back through the garden of a house.

One elderly lady who lived beside the scene of the explosion said: "I just heard this bang and I thought that it must be fireworks as there has been some of them around here the last couple of nights.

"But then one of the neighbours called to say it had been an explosion."

A man who saw the police vehicle leaving the scene said: "I heard the bang and the next thing this vehicle came flying up the road.

"It definitely looked to me like there was damage right along the side and I thought at least one of the mirrors had been blown off.

"I'll tell you this, they weren't hanging around after the bang."

The explosion took place at around 8.45pm, but by 10pm there was still no police presence in the area.

Following the explosion the street filled with people and young children were seen looking at the gap in the hedge caused by the blast.

The onlookers then moved away from the scene in case there was anything planted there.

It was not clear if the blast had been caused by a device remotely detonated in some way as the police vehicle passed or was caused by something simply thrown at it.

Early suggestions were that it may have been a pipe bomb either planted in the hedgerow or thrown by someone from the garden of the home.

There were no reports of any injuries or damage to homes in the area.

This is the second bomb attack on the police in the Derry area recently.

Some weeks ago a device was left in an empty house in the Ballyarnett area and calls made to lure police out.

The police found the device and it was made safe.

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