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Grenade 'could have killed boys'

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A military grenade thrown at police in Northern Ireland landed at the feet of two young children, a senior officer has said.

The device did not explode but if it had it is "highly probable" it would have killed the two boys and an officer they were talking to, according to Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin.

The incident happened in the Creggan area of Londonderry on Monday evening as police responded to a hoax bomb alert in the area.

"That grenade landed at the feet of one police officer and there were three other police officers in close proximity to that," said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) commander.

"Alarmingly, two young boys under the age of 10 had pedalled their bicycles up and were talking to the police officer when the device fell at his feet."

He added: "This was a military grenade, this was not an improvised grenade, these are designed for warfare, these are designed as anti-personnel weapons to kill people.

"If that had exploded in that environment we were faced with last night I think it is highly probable that I would be talking today about fatal injuries to both a police officer and to two young boys."

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Police believe dissident republicans opposed to the peace process were responsible for the failed attack.


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