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PSNI chief issues 'attacks' warning


PSNI chief Matt Baggott

PSNI chief Matt Baggott

PSNI chief Matt Baggott

Attacks launched by dissident republicans are in danger of causing another atrocity on the scale of the Omagh bombing, Northern Ireland's police chief has signalled.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott visited the scene of last week's car bomb attack which narrowly missed claiming lives when it exploded outside a Londonderry police station.

Since then separate booby trap bombs in Co Down targeted a soldier and a policewoman, while police in the Republic uncovered a haul of ammunition and bomb-making equipment.

Mr Baggott warned that dissident republican groups opposed to the peace process were behaving in a reckless manner that echoed the 1998 Omagh attack when a car bomb left by the so-called Real IRA in the middle of the Co Tyrone town killed 29 people including a woman pregnant with twins.

"These are the same people, or the same mindset that ultimately led to the Omagh tragedy all those years ago," Mr Baggott said of those behind the current spate of violence.

He highlighted how members of the public were nearly killed when the bomb went off while police were still evacuating the area.

Mr Baggott added: "They are absolutely reckless, they have no concern as to the fact that they are attacking kebab shop owners, mothers who have joined the Police Service of Northern Ireland with young children, they are putting elderly people out of their care homes and terrifying them in the early hours of the morning."

The chief constable said: "They have no solution for the future, except to go back to the past. And they are bringing that recklessness increasingly to our streets.

"We need the public to fully support us and don't allow these people to do what they want to do.

"They are dangerous. We need to be realistic about them and keep them firmly on the back foot."


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