Car bomb could have 'maimed' innocent people
A car bomb in Londonderry could have maimed or killed innocent people if it had detonated, police have warned.
The viable device was intercepted on the main road between Derry and Donegal, which carries hundreds of motorists every day.
Three men aged 54, 49 and 46 were were still being questioned last night in connection with the incident on Buncrana Road.
Four families were evacuated from the Temple Court area, off the Upper Galliagh Road, following the discovery after 4pm on Monday. The road was cordoned off for almost eight hours with detours put in place for hundreds of cross-border motorists travelling on the busy arterial route.
Army Technical Officers removed the device for further examination before the area was declared safe close to midnight on Monday.
Foyle Area Commander Chief Inspector Jon Burrows accused those behind the bomb of trying to drag the local community back to a violent past.
He said: “I am in no doubt had the device exploded it could have killed or maimed innocent members of the public, and it is due to the efficient evacuations set in place in the surrounding areas that no-one came to any harm.
“The blame for any disruption lies squarely with the misguided individuals who were responsible for this bomb being on a busy road close to people’s homes.
“I have no doubt that those responsible are trying to drag us back to the past but this will not be allowed to happen.”
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney called on those responsible to reflect on their actions and disband immediately as there was no place in modern society for armed groups.
He said: “I know it has been articulated many times before that there is no justification in the new political climate that has been created for any form of armed action. But if those behind this and other incidents have a logical analysis of what they hope to achieve then they have a responsibility to explain it to the people of Ireland.
“The vast majority of people, not only in this city but across Ireland, accept that the present institutions allow for all political
philosophies to be pursued on an equal basis.”
SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey said: “The disruption this caused to many people, including elderly, who could not gain access to their homes from early in the afternoon to almost midnight, is unacceptable. It’s obvious this was targeting somebody, and although there is a sense of relief, it has left a sinister taste.”
Alliance justice spokesman Stewart Dickson said: “This excellent police work has prevented a potentially devastating bomb attack and the police deserve our gratitude for the difficult work they carry out.”
Police have appealed for anyone with any information to contact Strand Road Police Station on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.