Belfast Telegraph

Mother drove her children in car with booby-trap bomb underneath

By Donna Deeney

A mother was shocked to find she unwittingly drove her children in a car with a bomb underneath it.

The device described as "crude by viable" was later discovered by the woman at her home in Talbot Park in Londonderry – one of the most affluent residential areas of the city

She initially thought it was a child's toy but realised it was something much more sinister after she reached under the car and found the device

The shocked and distressed woman contacted the police who evacuated her and her neighbours from their homes.

Army bomb experts were then called in to deal with the bomb.

Police are still trying to establish a motive for the attack but seem to have ruled out any paramilitary or security forces connection.

PSNI Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said: "This was a slightly more unconventional attack in that previously we were able to say within a short time that one of the dissident groups were responsible.

"There is no connection to the police service or the prison service amongst the intended victim.

"I am not able to say if it was terrorist-related at this time but regardless of a motive, no one deserves to be threatened like this.

"This was a viable device found in the driveway of a house in Talbot Park and our indication are that this was some kind of under-car booby-trap device and it is very fortunate that no one was killed.

"Anything that has been attached to a car, whether it partially or fully explodes, can have very serious consequences.

"The lady who found it ended up touching it, not realising it was an explosive device.

"We are very fortunate that nobody was killed.

"This was an extremely serious situation and it underlies the fact that people who plant these devices do not care who they injure or who they kill or what the implication are for anybody."

SDLP Foyleside candidate Rory Farrell described the incident as "attempted murder".

He added: "We witnessed attempted murder in a quiet suburban street.

"Those responsible for this attack, be they dissident republicans or some other shady group, need to come forward and explain to our community what they hope to gain from such criminality.

"This type of reckless behaviour should have no place in our society.

"It achieves nothing but heaps misery and disruption upon families going about their daily business.

"We are trying to sell Derry to investors, we are telling them we are open for business but publicity like this will not help bring jobs to our city."

Police are calling for anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the Talbot Park area to contact them at Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101.

Information can also be passed anonymously through the charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

STORY SO FAR

A mother drove her children in a car without knowing there was a crude car bomb attached to the vehicle. She became aware of something beneath the vehicle and assumed it was a child's toy that had become lodged.

The woman reached underneath and was horrified to discover the object was a bomb, which was later made safe by Army bomb experts.

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