Belfast Telegraph

Waterside families forced to flee after pipe bomb is left outside home

By Donna Deeney

The terror felt by families forced to flee their homes in Londonderry turned to anger at the people who left a pipe bomb outside the house of a neighbour.

Residents in the Tamneymore Park area of the Waterside were woken by police officers at 2am yesterday and told to evacuate their homes after the discovery of the device.

Among those whose family had their lives disrupted was Christopher Jackson, Sinn Fein Councillor at Derry and Strabane Council.

Although Mr Jackson was not evacuated, he was advised to move his family, including his young children, to the back of his house.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Jackson said: "While we did not have to leave our home, our neighbours who also have young children did.

"This was extremely traumatic for those children who had to walk out their front door in the middle of the night to see armoured Land Rovers and the bomb squad in their street.

He added: "People were petrified, but that feeling of terror has been replaced by pure anger at the people who placed this device at the home of one of our neighbours.

"People are angry that their children were placed in danger by having to walk past this device that could have exploded.

"No regard was shown for anyone in the community from these people, they have no place in our society, there is no justification for their action and they really need to go away."

It was the third time this week that dissident republicans have used violence on the streets of Derry.

On Monday, a 23-year-old man was shot once in the leg inside a bookmakers shop in the Creggan area and, 48 hours later, a 48-year-old man was shot twice in both legs, nearby in the Glenown area of the city.

DUP Foyle MLA, Gary Middleton was among those who voiced concern at the week's events.

He said: "Once again a community has been put in harm's way.

"It is deeply concerning that over the past week there has been a surge in violence on the streets, with two shootings and this latest incident in Top of the Hill. I have raised my concerns with the PSNI and have been assured that they are doing all they can to bring these people to justice and to minimise any impact they have."

Detective Sergeant Brian Reid made an appeal to the public for help with the investigation.

He said:"After receiving reports shortly before midnight, ATO attended the scene at around 2am this morning and declared the suspicious object a viable device. It has been taken away for further forensic examination.

"Police are continuing to conduct follow-up enquiries in the area at this time, with some cordons in place but no roads closed.

"I would like to place on record my thanks to all those affected by the incident for their assistance. I would appeal to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in and around the Tamneymore Park area to contact police on the non-emergency number 101."

Officers from the Serious Crime Branch arrested a 59-year-old man in the Cromore Gardens area of Creggan in connection with the shooting of the 23-year-old man on Monday.

A 19-year-old and a 31-year-old man were arrested earlier in connection with the same incident. All three were last night released unconditionally.

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