Belfast Telegraph

Photos released of Strabane mortar bomb as New IRA is blamed for attack

The PSNI have released pictures of the mortar bomb placed in Strabane they say the New IRA is responsible for.

A major police operation got underway on Monday morning in Creggan in Londonderry in an attempt to target the paramilitary group.

Forensics at the scene of a mortar find in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Forensics at the scene of a mortar find in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The family home in Strabane just metres from the bomb.

Police officers are searching for bomb-making material after the discovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) by a resident in the Church View area sparked a security alert.

Photos showing the bomb itself and the family home just metres from where it was placed have now been released.

"We have a small group of individuals absolutely intent on inflicting harm on our community," said Superintendent Gordon McCalmont, speaking at a press conference on Monday morning.

"There are small numbers that are not allowing our communities to develop and move on.

"As a district commander, we are concerned as an organisation that this is the seventh attack this year of significance and it's presenting us with real challenges," he said.

Forensics at the scene of a mortar find in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Forensics at the scene of a mortar find in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Chief Constable Simon Byrne has described the attack as an attempt to kill officers and said it's "a stark reminder why we need to grow PSNI to 7500 officers to grow our presence in communities to deal with this severe threat".

A 33-year-old man has been arrested under the Terrorism Act in relation to the discovery. He was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police believe the incident may be linked to the hijacking of a Pizza delivery driver's car in the Mount Sion area on Friday evening.

A number of homes in the Church View area were evacuated following the discovery of the object while it was made safe and removed for further examination.

Speaking on Sunday, Detective Inspector Andrew Hamlin said that police believed the device was placed "in order to attack police officers at the nearby police station but it had the capacity to kill or seriously injure anyone in the vicinity".

"This is not the first time a deadly device has been left in a public space recently and serves to remind us all how little the terrorists responsible care for the lives of local people," he said.

General view of Strabane PSNI Station at the scene of a mortar find in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
General view of Strabane PSNI Station at the scene of a mortar find in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Inspector Hamlin said police were linking the incident to a hijacking on Friday evening at 9.40pm.

"A fake order was placed with a pizza outlet from a phone box on Bridge Street and when the driver arrived at the stated address, his orange coloured Fiat Sedici was taken from him by three men. It was subsequently discovered on fire at Evish Road around 45 minutes later," he said.

"I am keen to hear from anyone who saw the orange Fiat in the town or who noticed anything out of the ordinary in the Church View area on Friday night. Detectives can be contacted on 101 quoting reference number 371 07/09/19.

"We are continuing to conduct enquiries in the area today and this morning arrested a 33 year old man under terrorism legislation. He remains in police custody at present.”

 

An ATO robot carries out a controlled explosion on a mortar in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo Leona O'Neill)
An ATO robot carries out a controlled explosion on a mortar in the Church view area of Strabane on September 7th 2019 (Photo Leona O'Neill)

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