Belfast Telegraph

Strabane pensioner among trio arrested after bomb discovered

By Adrian Rutherford

A 77-year-old man is one of three people being questioned in connection with a bomb alert in a border town.

A viable explosive device was found during a police raid linked to dissident republican activity in Strabane.

Ten houses in the Drumrallagh estate were evacuated during the security alert which lasted for several hours yesterday.

Army bomb experts were called to defuse the device, with the alert ending at around 5pm.

Three men - aged 43, 45 and 77 - were arrested at the scene under the Terrorism Act and were taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite in Belfast for questioning.

Police hit out at those responsible for the alert.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Fortunately this device was found and made safe before it could cause any harm.

"However, it clearly shows the intent of those individuals to kill or seriously injure.

"They have absolutely no regard for the safety of local residents in the Drumrallagh area. People involved in hiding bombs want to cause harm - they don't care who gets killed or injured."

Police appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Separately yesterday, bomb-making material and ammunition was found during a security alert in Lurgan.

The alert was sparked by the discovery of a suspicious object on Cornakinnegar Road yesterday afternoon.

It led to the railway line between Lurgan and Moira being closed for a period.

Police said the items had been found by detectives "investigating violent dissident republican activity".

PSNI Detective Inspector Adrian Brown said: "I am pleased to have removed these deadly items from the hands of ruthless and dangerous individuals.

"Our enquiries will continue and I would ask anyone with any information which could assist us to contact police on 101.

"Or alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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