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Woman tells of her terror after Londonderry house is targeted by bombers

By Chris McCullough

Published 05/10/2015

The woman in her bombed home
The woman in her bombed home

A young woman in her 20s was lucky to escape without injuries following a pipe bomb attack on her house in Londonderry.

The attack, which is being treated as a sectarian hate crime by the police, happened shortly after 10pm on Saturday.

The device exploded on an outside sill, smashing a window of the woman's home in Lincoln Court.

It has caused outrage in the local community and has been condemned by politicians.

Army bomb disposal officers attended the scene and five homes had to be evacuated. A number of elderly residents live in the immediate area.

Detective Inspector Stewart said: "We are lucky that no one was injured by this device, or by the window smashing. This is being treated as a sectarian hate crime and I would appeal to anyone with any information to contact detectives at Strand Road on the non emergency number 101."

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton visited the scene shortly after the explosion.

He said the woman and other locals were at a loss to the motive for the attack.

Mr Middleton said: "We are not sure if it is indeed a sectarian hate crime, and the woman involved is of that mindset as well.

"She is a local girl and has lived in that property for a number of years. She has never had any bother before and we are trying to ascertain why this happened.

"She feels very unsafe staying in the house and will stay elsewhere for the next couple of nights.

"Police must have enough evidence of what is going on as they have advised her not to stay in the property. Whoever is responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves.

"The local community have rallied round her and are helping as best they can.

"The PSNI need to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what has gone on here."

SDLP councillor Gerard Diver condemned the attack and said it was unbelievable that such a thing could happen in 2015.

He said: "I would condemn outright this disgraceful attack on a person living in the Waterside.

"I understand the police are following a few different lines of enquiry, but what is very clear is that the incident was motivated by hate.

"Sadly we have a history of people being attacked in their homes over the years in this city and district, and it's unbelievable that this type of sinister event can still happen in 2015.

"My complete sympathy is with the victim of this attack, who thankfully has escaped physical harm, but who I'm sure has been traumatised by the events.

"I would appeal for anyone with information to pass it on to the PSNI as a matter of urgency so that those responsible can be brought to justice."

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