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Residents evacuated after police station blast

Residents have been evacuated from their homes after an explosion outside a police station in Londonderry.

The PSNI said there were no reports of injuries in the incident outside Strand Road station at 12.15am early on Saturday morning.

The road was closed between the junction of Clarendon Street and Lawrence Hill.

Police said army technical officers were examining a car on Queen Street reported to be on fire shortly after the explosion was heard.

Brian Rea, acting chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, condemned the incident and urged anyone with information to come forward.

"This latest attack on a police station has caused inconvenience and stress to those residents who had to be evacuated from their homes in the early hours of this morning," Mr Rea said.

"Thankfully there were no injuries to members of the public or police officers and I would urge anyone with information to pass it on to the police."

Among the residents evacuated were elderly people from a nearby housing fold.

Local SDLP councillor Helen Quigley said these people were now suffering as a result of the incident and had been moved to the William Street Residential Home.

"Yet again undue distress has been inflicted upon our elderly people as they have been forced to leave their homes in the middle of the night due to another terrorist attack in Derry," Ms Quigley said.

"This experience has been extremely traumatic for these old and vulnerable people, many of whom have been denied access to necessary medication as the area around their homes remains cordoned off."

Ms Quigley said a number of young people living in nearby flats have also been moved to Brooke Park Leisure Centre.

"Much praise must be given to the staff in these facilities who have gone above and beyond their call of duty to accommodate and care for those who have been forced out of their homes," the councillor said.

"Additionally traders have lost earnings at this tough economic time as people have been unable to access their workplaces and shops on what is usually a bustling day for business in our city.

"Those responsible for planting this device have absolutely no respect for the people of this city. Their actions are reckless and destructive and are not supported by the people of Derry."

Ms Quigley appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford also condemned the attack.

"Thankfully no-one was hurt in what was a senseless attack," he said.

"Those who carried this out refuse to accept the will of the vast majority of people across this island. They will not succeed."


From Belfast Telegraph