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Hunt for bombers stepped up

Officers set up checkpoints a fortnight after dissident bid to kill PSNI couple

By Donna Deeney

Published 02/07/2015

Police and forensics officers outside the targeted house in Eglinton after the murder bid
Police and forensics officers outside the targeted house in Eglinton after the murder bid

Exactly two weeks after dissident republicans tried to murder two married police officers at their home, detectives returned to the scene in a bid to gather more information.

Police were in the Glenrandel area of Eglinton, outside Londonderry, at 2.40am today - the very moment when one of the officers targeted looked out of her bedroom window and saw a terrorist place a bomb under her husband's car.

Checkpoints were in operation in the village, too, as officers spoke with drivers.

They were given leaflets appealing for information, with detailed points to motorists and residents who may have been in the locality at the time the attack took place.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot, said: "It is surprising just how many people were out and about in the early hours of Thursday, June 18 in Eglinton.

"We want to make sure we have spoken to each and every one of them to ensure every possible piece of information has been fed into our investigation. This was an attempt to kill a police officer and his family. It also posed a risk to other residents and caused considerable disruption and upset to the local community.

"We want to speak to anyone who saw individuals or vehicles in the Glenrandel area of the village between midnight and 3am on Thursday, June 18.

"We are also interested in hearing from anyone who noticed anything unusual or suspicious in Glenrandel in the two weeks before June 18."

Three men in their 20s and 30s were arrested by a Garda specialist unit across the border in Co Donegal at 4am just over an hour after the alarm was raised.

A 27-year-old man was also arrested later that same day in Glenrandel.

These four, along with a fifth man arrested in Lurgan on June 23, were all released unconditionally.

DCI Talbot added: "Our enquiries are continuing.

"Five arrests have been made, vehicles seized and properties searched in various parts of Northern Ireland and in the Republic.

"We have conducted a trawl of CCTV and are continuing to liaise with colleagues in An Garda Siochana.

"The response from the community in Eglinton has been very positive. We are grateful for people's co-operation and assistance.

"I would ask anyone with any information about the incident or those involved to contact detectives at Maydown on our direct line 028 7137 9783. Alternatively, people who prefer to remain anonymous can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"The most important thing is that we get the information which will help us identify, apprehend and put before a court those individuals who tried to inflict harm on a family and a community."

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