Belfast Telegraph

Young mum's safety fears for daughter after Derry bomb blast

By Allan Preston

A young mother has told how she is afraid to let her daughter play in her own garden after a pipe bomb attack in Londonderry.

The nursing student was at home with her boyfriend on Tuesday night when the device exploded outside a neighbour's house at Bann Drive around 11.15pm.

A man and woman were inside but weren't injured.

Her four-year-old daughter and her partner's two sons, aged six and nine, were sleeping upstairs at the time.Homes were evacuated while ammunition technical officers examined the object and confirmed it was a pipe bomb-type device.

"We heard a really loud bang, like one I'd heard before when I was in Eglinton," she said.

"In the end we decided not to leave the house and I stayed up late to work on assignments for my nursing degree."

By 2am police knocked on the doors to evacuate residents to a nearby community centre.

"We had to wake all the children up," she added.

"The two boys understand what happened but I told my daughter it was just a bonfire because I didn't want to scare her.

"My next door neighbour is four months pregnant. She went to the community centre but there were no beds and she couldn't get any sleep."

Having just moved into the street last month, she said she was "scared and saddened" by what happened.

"My daughter's only four and she's used to walking out with me to see her friends on the street," she added.

"I'm worried now, I'm thinking about if she's safe to go out in the back garden. What if she finds something? She hasn't the sense to know if she shouldn't pick it up."

Addressing the attackers, she said: "I just don't understand why they did this. I heard it was two older people targeted."

The explosion followed nearly a week of rioting in the Bogside area of the city, during which gunfire and petrol bombs were aimed at police.

"I think this is people caught in older times trying to bring the younger generation into it. It's just really sad," she added.

Detectives are working to establish a motive for the attack and have appealed for witnesses and those with information to call 101. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph

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