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07/09/2010

'Loyalist Splinter Group' Bombed School

An alleged loyalist splinter group is being blamed for the pipe bomb which was left at an Antrim primary school yesterday.

Speaking to UTV, Justice Minister David Ford said that a loyalist splinter group, allegedly calling themselves the 'Real UFF' "appeared" to be behind the security alerts at both St Comgalls Primary School and St Joseph's Primary School yesterday.

Police have said that they do not know who left the pipe bomb at St Comgalls or whether the school had been deliberately targeted.

The pupils from St Comgalls PS on the Ballymena Road were moved to a nearby church yesterday morning, after eight-year-old pupil Brendan Shannon lifted what police confirmed as a "viable device" and brought it into a classroom.

Nothing was found during the alert at St Josephs and both alerts have now ended.

The alerts have been condemned by both the police and politicians. PSNI Chief Inspector Simon Walls, said that the attack was "beyond despicable" and that it was only "sheer good fortune" that a child had not been injured.

DUP MP for South Antrim William McCrea said the alerts were "obscene" and utterly disgraceful", while Sinn Fein MLA for South Antrim Mitchel McLaughlin said that those responsible "should hang their heads in shame".

He added: "They have placed our children in a very vulnerable and dangerous position."

(KMcA/GK)

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