Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein anger over bomb

By Smyth Harper

SINN Fein today condemned the Real IRA mortar bomb attack on Bessbrook Army barracks and said it was fortunate no-one was injured.

SINN Fein today condemned the Real IRA mortar bomb attack on Bessbrook Army barracks and said it was fortunate no-one was injured.

The party's Assemblyman for Newry and Armagh, Conor Murphy, said the people who carried out the attack were opposed to the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

"They have little or no support and operate without either a mandate or indeed a strategy to achieve political change.

"It is incumbent on all of us in political leadership to make it clear that politics can work and deliver change."

The 18-hour security operation came to an end last night and residents in 100 homes that had been evacuated were allowed to return home.

The device fired at the security base in Bessbrook was a Mark 15 'barrack buster' mortar bomb containing 150lbs of explosives packed into a gas cylinder, the RUC have confirmed.

It was fired from a white Ford Courier van which had been abandoned near the base with a hole cut in the roof for the mortar to be fired through.

Despite it failing to explode it posed a "significant threat" to people in the area, which was why more people were evacuated yesterday.

RUC Inspector Ralph Taggart said: "It was a significant device prepared by people intent on causing death and destruction."

He appealed for anyone who saw the van, registration number W574 LBD, in the Bessbrook area up to 9.50pm on Tuesday night or who knows about its background to contact detectives on 028 3026 5500.

Belfast Telegraph

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