21/01/2019

Four Arrested Over L'Derry Bomb

Four men have been arrested after a car bomb detonated in L'Derry city centre on Saturday evening, 19 January.

Police believe the attack may have been carried out by the new IRA, a dissident republican group, and four men remain in custody.

Officers on patrol in Bishops Street spotted a suspicious vehicle shortly before 8pm and were making checks when information was called in that a device had been abandoned at the courthouse.

The surrounding area was evacuated, including hundreds of hotel guests, 150 people from the Masonic Hall and a group of children from a church group. The device detonated at around 8.10pm.

Two of the suspects are aged in their 20's, while one is 32 and another aged 42.

The area remains closed from Bishop's Gate down to the Bishop's Gate Hotel.

At the courthouse, jury trials scheduled for Monday have been postponed until Tuesday.
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Cases listed to be heard in the magistrate's court will now be held in Strabane, with some other hearings switching to Coleraine.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton condemned the bomb as "unbelievably reckless".

"Thankfully the attackers failed to kill or injure any members of the local community out socialising and enjoying the best of what the city has to offer.

"At this stage it appears as though the vehicle used had been hijacked from a delivery driver in the Quarry Street area a short time before the explosion.

"The people responsible for this attack have shown no regard for the community or local businesses. They care little about the damage to the area and the disruption they have caused. The area remains sealed off.

"We are incredibly grateful for the support and co-operation of the local community and I am appealing to anyone with information to please get in touch with us on 101. Information can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."



(JG/CM)

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