Belfast Telegraph

New dissident terror group says it left Belfast roadside bomb

By Kate Buck

A new dissident republican group has claimed it was responsible for planting a suspected roadside explosive device in west Belfast.

Police were called to Pantridge Road at 1pm on Monday, resulting in the evacuation of a number of houses, but left two hours later after finding nothing.

However, officers returned after a group calling itself 'Arm na Poblachta' (Army of the Republic) made coded phone calls claiming it had left an improvised explosive device at a lamppost on Pantridge Road.

The PSNI discovered what appeared to be a spool of wire attached to an unidentified package.

This resulted in Pantridge Road, Bell Steel Road, Pembroke Loop Road and Brians Well Road remaining closed to traffic, forcing many families in the area to stay in their homes.

This is the first time Arm na Poblachta has claimed responsibility for an attack, with police only confirming its existence in August.

Pantridge Road runs alongside a busy housing estate, with families celebrating Halloween and trick-or-treaters walking along the roads in the surrounding area.

An Army bomb disposal robot was deployed to extract the device out of the grass at the side of the road.

Stephen Magennis, a Sinn Fein councillor for the Poleglass area, said that every effort had been made to limit the "major disruptions" in the area caused by the security perimeter.

"It is a sizable area that has needed to be closed off," he said.

"But the police are doing their jobs and doing their best to keep people safe."

Sinn Fein MLA Orlaithi Flynn added the group responsible had "no regard" for the community.

PSNI Superintendent Robert Murdie said: "It is clear that those responsible for this wish to instil fear, disrupt the community and attempt to detract officers from delivering the policing service the local community of west Belfast want and deserve."

Belfast Telegraph


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