09/09/2019

Police Believe New IRA Behind Strabane Explosive

The PSNI has said it believes the New IRA is responsible for leaving a mortar device outside homes in Strabane, Co Tyrone.

A viable improvised explosive was discovered in the Church View area, sparking a security alert on Saturday morning, 07 September. Police believe it was left with the intention of killing officers and released pictures of the mortar bomb they say the New IRA is responsible for.

District Commander Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: "It is our assessment that the New IRA is responsible for the mortar device that was discovered outside homes in Church View Close in Strabane on Saturday morning.

"The people who left this device had every intention of killing my colleagues serving the Strabane community. They showed no regard for the families, elderly and vulnerable people who were forced to leave their homes and whose lives were put at risk.

"As a parent myself it was terrifying to hear local mother Aileen Mullan recount how close her children were to this deadly device."
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Superintendent McCalmont condemned those behind the murder bid, which is believed to be linked to the hijacking of a delivery driver's car in the Mount Sion area of the town at around 9.40pm on Friday evening, 06 September.

He continued: "The New IRA members behind this attack are living in the community. They are building bombs and storing weapons and placing the community at risk. To further highlight the recklessness and total disregard shown by the New IRA, a public safety operation is taking place in Creggan this morning involving approximately 80 officers and explosive detection dogs.

"Our assessment is that this group is concealing bomb making materials. We have a number of areas of focus but there is nothing definitive and no guarantees. However, our chances of success are vastly improved by support and information from the community."

Local Sinn Fein MP Órfhlaith Begley hit out at those behind the attack, saying they have nothing to offer the local community.

The west Tyrone MP said: "This was an attack on the entire community. Thankfully no one was injured in this disgraceful incident.

"It only served to bring disruption and fear to the local community in Strabane who reject this dangerous and futile actions.

"Those responsible have nothing to offer society and need to end their attacks against the community."



(JG/CM)

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