Belfast Telegraph

Police get extra time to quiz men held over bomb attack on prison officer

Police investigating a bomb attack on a prison officer in Belfast have been given extra time to question three men.

The 52-year-old, a married father of three, required surgery after an explosive device detonated under the van he was driving on Friday March 4.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said detectives had been granted an additional 48 hours to question the 34, 39 and 45-year-old suspects who were detained on Sunday.

A 34-year-old woman who was also arrested has been released unconditionally, according to the PSNI.

A group calling itself the New IRA claimed to have carried out the attack.

In a statement to the BBC the dissident republican group reportedly said the officer was targeted because he was involved in training other guards at Maghaberry high security jail, near Lisburn.

They said the officer was one of a number on a list of potential targets and the attack arose from a dispute over the treatment of dissident Republican inmates.

The group also claimed to have used the plastic explosive Semtex and a commercial detonator in the attack.

Following the blast, police commanders expressed fears that it could be the first of a number of dissident republican attacks to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.


From Belfast Telegraph