Belfast Telegraph

Two bombs at Northern Ireland Army base partially explode

By Donna Deeney

Two bombs with the potential to kill or maim partially exploded on the perimeter of an Army base.

The police said the improvised explosive devices had been left in bags near the fence of Limavady Road Army Reserve centre in the Waterside area of Londonderry.

They said CCTV footage showed the devices detonated at 11.35pm on Sunday, but failed to fully explode.

Families were evacuated from their homes and the railway line between Coleraine and Derry was closed while Army ammunition technical officers moved in to deal with the devices.

Police confirmed the two bombs - understood to be in a holdall and a rucksack, were discovered at the perimeter fence of the base yesterday.

PSNI area commander Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan said: "These devices had the capacity to kill and maim and inquiries are under way into how and when they were left at this location.

"An initial examination of CCTV footage in the area would indicate that the devices partially initiated at around 11.35pm last night but failed to fully explode."

The devices were defused before being taken away for further examination. There was no warning issued.

People living in Rossbay, Rockport Park and Caw Park were forced to flee their homes and the Foyle Arena and Caw Community Centre were opened to provide shelter.

One woman who was making her way to take refuge in the Foyle Arena with her young son in a pushchair was visibly shaken.

She said: "My heart was in my mouth when I opened the door and was told I should leave because there was a security alert. I don't know what it is, we haven't been told, but I just grabbed a few things for me and the baby and ran.

"I rang my husband at his work and he is going to come and get us and take us to his mother's house, but it is a disgrace in this day and age you have idiots still trying to blow us all up."

SDLP Foyle Westminster candidate Mark Durkan visited the scene and stressed that actions like this would not destabilise peace.

He said: "The increasing frequency of security alerts in Derry is deeply worrying. This latest alert following the explosion in Crawford Square last week shows the increasing recklessness of those behind such attacks. These individuals are running a serious risk with people's lives.

"The people of Derry have made it clear that there is no support for those causing these security alerts.

"They have caused nothing but anxiety and disruption for the many evacuated from their homes.

"The people of Derry will continue to stand against all attempts to destabilise the peace and harm our community."

The Ulster Unionist candidate in Thursday's Westminster election, Julie McKee, described those behind the alert as "sad individuals".

She said:"I think it is despicable that anyone feels it is acceptable to cause this amount of disruption. There is no rationale to this kind of thinking.

"They are sad individuals who are hell-bent on dragging us backwards but they will not succeed."

Belfast Telegraph


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