Bomb 'destined for Fermanagh police station'
Published 23/03/2013 | 12:49
A bomb found and made safe in a car in Fermanagh was destined for a police station, the PSNI have said.
It was recovered not far from the luxury Lough Erne golf resort where this June's G8 conference of world leaders is being held. Dissident republicans are prime suspects.
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "The abandoned device dealt with by PSNI sadly reminds us that there are still a small minority who are determined to damage communities and cause death and disruption.
"Those responsible for it have neither mandate nor legitimacy; they are totally out of touch with what the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want.
"Acts like this only serve to strengthen our resolve against those terrorists who have nothing to offer Northern Ireland except mayhem and destruction."
DUP Stormont MLA Arlene Foster said those responsible were intent on taking life but had to abandon transport of the bomb.
She said Lisnaskea police station was in a built up area with homes and churches nearby.
"Had this bomb been detonated in that locality there would have been carnage," she warned.
She added: "When we look at the number of failed terrorist attempts across the province, it is clear that the police are being successful both at gathering intelligence and also at putting that knowledge to use."
PSNI district commander Pauline Shields said: "The people responsible for this have no regard for the lives of anyone in our community. "It is fortunate that no-one was killed or seriously injured as a result of this reckless act."
The security alert on the Derrylin Road, Enniskillen, has ended.
Ms Shields added: "Although investigations are at an early stage it is our assessment at present that this vehicle was destined for Lisnaskea PSNI station."
Following the report of a suspect vehicle in the area in the early hours of Friday a security operation was put in place which continued through the night until approximately 11am this morning.
Residents were evacuated from their homes and Army technical officers carried out a clearance operation on the suspicious car and a viable device was made safe.
Ms Shields added: "Once again our community has been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by an element intent on causing loss of life and disruption.
"The people who carried out this act are not part of the society within which the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to live. The subsequent complex operation has tied up resources that would otherwise be dealing with community issues."
The finger of blame will be pointed at dissident republicans, who have murdered two soldiers, two policemen and a prison guard in their campaign of violence.
A week ago the Police Service of Northern Ireland discovered a mortar-type device aimed towards New Barnsley police station in north Belfast. Also last week three officers escaped injury when an explosive device detonated within metres of them as they patrolled a coastal path on the outskirts of Belfast.
Earlier this month two men were arrested after police intercepted a van carrying four mortar bombs which were primed and ready to fire at a station in Londonderry.
The bomb was found 16 miles from the site of this June's G8 gathering of world leaders at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen.
US president Barack Obama, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian premier Vladimir Putin are expected to attend the huge event.
A massive security operation will be mounted and thousands of police officers from UK forces will be drafted in to help bolster PSNI numbers. They will help provide security and safety at a range of key venues and will be able to exercise the same powers of arrest, stop and search.