Dissident bomb found after days of searching
A suspicious device found in the Drumsurn area of County Londonderry was last night confirmed to be a bomb.
The device was discovered on the Leghavallon Road yesterday afternoon and a controlled explosion was carried out.
A PSNI spokesperson said the security operation was expected to continue into today.
Sinn Fein councillor for Limavady, Brenda Chivers, told the Belfast Telegraph people in the area had been left frightened by the news.
"I am relieved that the bomb has been found and disposed of and thank God that no one was injured or killed," she said. "But it was found on a very busy road which is widely used and it is worrying to think it could have been there for weeks.
"The community are very frightened and worried about being targetted again in the future.
"I dread to think what could have happened if the bomb had gone off."
Three days of searches have resulted in road closures and a number of families being evacuated from their homes.
The Derry Brigade of paramilitary organisation Oglaigh na h'Eireann claim they were behind the bomb.
In a statement issued to the Derry Journal, the dissident republican group also claimed responsibility for a number of other attacks across the north west, including a gun attack at a house in the Curryneiran in the Waterside one month ago and a mortar attack in Strabane.
A number of searches were carried out in the Drumsurn area, which lies approximately six miles outside of Dungiven, after an anonymous caller using a recognised code word contacted the Samaritans at 2am last Wednesday.
The caller said an explosive device had been left at a road junction near the Leghavallon Road.
Similar crude but potentially deadly devices have been used in previous attacks across the north west in both Londonderry and Strabane.
No information as to why the device was left in the remote area was passed to the charity during the call but there has been speculation that soldiers from the nearby Magilligan army camp, who had been using the location for training, were the target.
The statment from Oglaigh na hEireann claimed the device had been in place for five weeks and that "previous warnings were ignored by the RUC/PSNI".
The organisation also issued threats to what it termed "false republicans" and "criminal elements" alleged to have extorted money from drug dealers.
The statement read: "Having ordered individuals out of the city over recent months we remain the only organisation that does not encourage drug dealers by taking money in exchange for safety.
"Taxing drug dealers does not help our community. It turns a £100 drug dealer into a £10,000 dealer and this will not be tolerated."
Threats were also made to individuals who, it was claimed, said they were representing Oglaigh na hEireann when committing robberies or extorting money. The group said these people would "be dealt with", along with anyone operating drug dens.