Belfast Telegraph

Man who removed 'bomb' hits out at police response

By Donna Deeney

A man picked up a suspect device and carried it to an open area for safety, it has been revealed.

Police have now urged the public not to touch or move any suspect devices, but to wait for them to deal with it.

The man lifted the suspect nail bomb from outside his Strabane home and carried it to a nearby green area.

The resident, who did not want to be identified, claimed he had no choice because the PSNI did not attend when alerted.

Earlier this week the man, who lives in the Ballycolman estate, was woken at 3am by passers-by who told him about the device.

Locals said police were contacted immediately and twice again over the following hour. However, when they failed to arrive at the scene, the man moved the device himself.

He said: “We weren't sure what it was but it looked like a device that shouldn't have been there.

“It was a container, wrapped up in silver paper with wires coming out of it.

“I looked down into it and it was packed with nails. I phoned the police but they never responded, so later I lifted the device and moved it further down the street about 100 yards to a green area because I thought it was safer there.

“I was a bit scared, to be honest, but I was very slow and careful lifting it. I took my time walking down the street, trying not to disturb it too much.

“I am annoyed at the lack of response from the police. Why did they leave it to residents to make the area safe. It is their job to do that, not ours?”

Area commander for Strabane, Chief Inspector Andy Lemon, defended his officers.

He said: “When there is a security alert consideration is given to many factors, including that it may be a deliberate attempt to lure police into the area. This is the latest in a number of such attacks and I would question the motives of those responsible. Is it to disrupt the community or to lure police into the area for something more sinister?

“I have no doubt those who planted these devices are watching how police respond on each occasion and take pleasure in the disruption they cause.”

Belfast Telegraph

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