Belfast Telegraph

Mole warned of mortar attack

Army acted after tip off

By Gail Walker

SECURITY forces in Coalisland had been tipped off that a massive mortar

SECURITY forces in Coalisland had been tipped off that a massive mortar and gun attack on the town's RUC station was imminent, it emerged today.

Reliable sources have revealed that a specialist army unit, possibly the SAS, was lying in wait to thwart the anticipated terrorist onslaught.

But the covert operation was thrown into chaos when only a small device was thrown at the base.

The undercover unit, convinced the major attack they had been alerted to was underway, opened fire, injuring one man and hitting the car of a local priest who was driving by.

The RUC is thought to have gleaned the information from a mole within the IRA's South Tyrone Brigade, which is understood to be carrying out an internal investigation.

'The security forces believed a major attack in the style of that carried out on Loughgall RUC base was planned for Tuesday or Wednesday night,' said the source.

'They were lying in wait and thought that it had begun when a small device was thrown at the base.'Police said a hole blown in the perimeter security fence of the Coalisland RUC station was consistent with a one kilo explosive device.

A starting pistol was found near the scene.

Detectives were today waiting to interview a teenager shot by a soldier.

Gareth Doris (19) was arrested in his hospital bed as he recovered from a bullet wound to the stomach. He was today in a serious but stable condition.

Police confirmed that another man arrested yesterday has since been released without charge.

But another men remained in custody today after police raided and searched houses in a nationalist housing estate.

A full RUC investigation into the incident was underway amid republican claims that the security forces were operating a shoot-to-kill policy.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, however, today described as 'misguided' calls for an inquiry into the actions of the Army.

He said: 'Calls for an inquiry are worthless if this follows the standard procedure whereby the RUC would be responsible for investigating the British army.'


From Belfast Telegraph