Belfast Telegraph

'Sectarian' bomb attack on Northern Ireland house 'could have killed'

Police in Bonds Place after the pipe bomb attack
Police in Bonds Place after the pipe bomb attack
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A pipe bomb attack on a house in the Bonds Place area of Londonderry could have killed, residents and a politician have said.

The device, described by an Army bomb disposal expert as viable, exploded shortly before 11pm on Tuesday.

A sectarian motive is one line of enquiry for police.

Residents said the device could have killed someone if it had been picked up.

One man added: "It was bad enough we had to leave home, but it could have been worse if someone had picked it up and it had exploded in their face.

"I don't know what is going on in this place any more. We are supposed to have peace, but there's not much sign of it in this city, no matter what side of the river you're living on."

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said the attack was inexcusable. "No one was in this property at the time but, given the proximity to other properties, someone could have been injured or indeed killed," he added.

"Police have told me they are keeping an open mind at this stage as regards a possible motive, but I have made it clear there is no justification for an attack like this for any reason.

"We need people to co-operate fully with the police so that they can have a very clear picture about what happened and can bring those responsible before the courts."

The PSNI appealed for anyone with information to get in contact. It said: "Police and ATO (ammunition technical officers) attended the scene and a number of homes in the area were evacuated as a public safety operation was carried out.

"Police suspect that this was a pipe bomb-type device. Our officers remained as we continued with our enquiries into this reckless act.

"We are following a number of lines of enquiry, including that this was a sectarian hate crime.

"While damage was caused to a property, thankfully no one was injured.

"However, what occurred in the Bonds Place area could have had extremely serious consequences and we could have been dealing with serious injury or worse."

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