Belfast Telegraph

Dissident attacks 'risking lives'

Reckless attacks by dissident republicans are putting lives at risk, the chief constable has said.

A retired doctor and a Catholic police officer were targeted this week near Londonderry, and on Thursday night, an explosive device injured two officers as they attended an alarm at a toy store north of Belfast.

Matt Baggott has condemned those responsible, saying: "These people not only threaten the lives of police officers and those who work alongside us, they also endanger the lives of members of the public.

"Reckless attacks such as these reinforce the danger caused by these people and we will do everything in our power to keep communities safe and bring them to justice. However for that to happen we need every member of the community working with us."

The two officers suffered facial injuries, which are not life-threatening, in the blast when they were summoned by an alarm to the Toys R Us store in Mill Road, Newtownabbey. Two staff members also suffered shock.

People living close to the scene of the attack had reported hearing a loud bang, but said they thought it was fireworks.

Chief Inspector Derek McCamley said: "This was a despicable act, not only on police officers responding to a call for assistance but also on two members of the public. We are extremely fortunate that no-one was more seriously hurt."

He promised a full investigation but said it was too early to say who was behind the attack.

Meanwhile, four people arrested in connection with a separate Real IRA bomb attack near Claudy in County Londonderry on Wednesday have been released unconditionally.

A controlled explosion was carried out on a bomb found near a retired doctor's house. A bomb also exploded outside a Catholic police officer's house on the Ervey Road near Claudy. No-one was injured.


From Belfast Telegraph