21/01/2019

NI Politicians Condemn L'Derry Car Bomb

Elected representatives from Northern Ireland have hit out at those responsible for planting a car bomb in L'Derry over the weekend.

The device detonated at 8.10pm in Bishop Street on Saturday 19 January, shortly after police spotted the suspicious vehicle and secured the surrounding area.

No one was hurt or injured in the explosion.

Condemning the bomb, Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann branded it an "act of cowardice".

He said: "The actions of the mindless criminals who want to take Northern Ireland back to the past by bombing our city centres and putting lives in danger cannot and must not be allowed to succeed. There was no excuse for it during the Troubles and there's no excuse for it now. Saturday night's attack in Londonderry City Centre was an act of cowardice.

"There is an onus on politicians not to say or do anything that could give succour or encouragement to those that carried out this act of terrorism. We must do everything we can to support the police as they pursue the terrorists responsible."
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Ulster Unionist Policing Board member, Alan Chambers MLA, added: "If it wasn't for the actions of the brave police officers who cleared the area immediately before the car bomb exploded in Londonderry, we could be looking at a murder investigation today. They deserve our thanks and praise for doing a very difficult job under trying circumstances, displaying immense professionalism in spotting the suspicious vehicle before a warning was issued and moving swiftly to evacuate people."

Police believe a delivery driver's car was hijacked some time before the incident and abandoned outside the courthouse.

Four men have since been arrested and remain in custody.

The PSNI said the attack may have been carried out by the New IRA, a dissident republican group, and released CCTV footage of the explosion.

Sinn Fein MP for the area, Elisha McCallion said the incident has shocked the entire community.

"In particular, there are many elderly residents who live in the area who have been alarmed by this incident," the Foyle MP explained.

"Derry is a city moving forward and no one wants this. It is not representative of the city."

Mid Ulster MLA Michelle O'Neill added that those responsible for the car bomb have nothing to offer the community.

Meanwhile, SDLP leader and Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood said in a post on Twitter: "The people of Derry are resolutely opposed to this. You represent no-one. Stop it now."

Police are appealing for anyone with information that could assist their investigations to contact them on non-emergency line 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



(JG/CM)

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