Belfast Telegraph

Police foil border bomb attack

A massive van bomb discovered near the Irish border could have caused a massacre on the scale of the infamous Omagh attack, politicians have said.

Motorists, including vehicles taking children to school, drove past the device on the main route between Belfast and Dublin, near Newry after police warning cones were removed.

The van bomb, believed to contain hundreds of pounds of explosives, was hidden below an under-pass.

The device, which was removed on Friday night, is being seen as yet a further bid to kill police.

Leading politicians have said civilians could also have easily been murdered.

Northern Ireland Policing Board member Jonathan Bell condemned the bomb attempt, which came as detectives continue to question three people over the murder of constable Ronan Kerr.

The DUP representative said: "We had the capacity for a second Omagh tragedy of monumental proportions as a fun run with families and children passed Ronan Kerr's vehicle.

"We are dealing with a viable explosive device on the major arterial route between Belfast and Dublin. With the massive numbers using this route is it the case that it is only the expertise of our Police that has prevented further mass murder?"

Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process are being blamed for Pc Kerr's killing in Omagh, Co Tyrone, last Saturday. The groups are also thought to be responsible for the van bomb on the A1 route.

In 1998 the dissident Real IRA killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, when they detonated a car bomb in Omagh.


From Belfast Telegraph