Belfast Telegraph

Police chief slams would-be bombers

Those who left explosives in a busy street in Northern Ireland have the same recklessness as the Omagh bombers, Chief Constable Matt Baggott has said.

Two viable devices were found in Belfast's Antrim Road after dissident republicans attempted to lure in officers, police added.

The main road will remain closed while police and Army teams search the area.

Mr Baggott said: "The people that planted these devices have the same recklessness and the same mindset as those that brought about the Omagh tragedy.

"There were hundreds of people who could have been very badly hurt and killed by this device in a busy residential area."

The latest attack was claimed by dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann.

The first device was placed beside an Xtravision video store, close to a police station, and the Army discovered the second beside a Scout hall. One device was substantially larger than the other.

Mr Baggott said there would be no lack of resources for the investigation but disclosed that he has been in talks in London about his future budget and the issue was raised at the highest level.

He rejected republican claims that he is leading an "army of occupation".

"We have a police service that has never been more accessible. This is designed to put policing back into the past when policing had to be security-driven," he said.

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