Belfast Telegraph

Children pick up remains of bomb

A group of children picked up an unexploded pipe bomb just minutes after another device blew up outside a nearby police station in Northern Ireland.

The youngsters, some only nine years old, handed the bomb to officers outside the Woodbourne base in Stewartstown Road, west Belfast.

No-one was injured, but police said the children, who were out playing at the time, were lucky.

Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland have been blamed for the attack.

One of the pipe bombs exploded but the second failed to detonate and was found by the children.

Several families had to leave their homes and six neighbouring businesses were unable to open today because of an ongoing security operation.

Chief Superintendent George Clarke, the area's police commander, said the children had been caught up in a reckless attack aimed at killing or maiming his officers.

He said: "Those children may well have picked up the unexploded devices, which are extremely volatile, very, very dangerous, utterly lethal and could function at any time.

"Dissident republicans haven't moved forward and realised the way to advance any argument is political. No-one has come forward to claim this (attack). I cannot see the logic of throwing bombs at the back of a police station and then leaving an unexploded one for children to pick up."

Democratic Unionist councillor Brian Kingston, who met families living close to the police station, said: "This is a combination of childhood innocence and a terrorist attempt to maim and kill."


From Belfast Telegraph