Police Station Bomb Attack Is Latest Dissident Action

A potentially lethal explosive device hurled at a border police station at the weekend was the work of republican 'dissidents'.

The device - described by police as "viable" - was thrown at the base in Strabane late on Saturday night.

Army technical experts were called to the scene to deal with the device - which did not explode – and was found near the station's gates.

Now, although no one was injured in the incident, fears are growing of increased dissident republican activity in the area.

Senior security sources are in fact linking the 'Real IRA' to the incident and as a result, the police have urged the community to remain vigilant in the run-up to Christmas.

"The Real IRA, which works closely with INLA members, seems to be the biggest threat to the security forces in this area.

"They may be based in Co Tyrone but they have also been active in Co Londonderry and police are taking the threat this group poses very seriously.

"These devices are designed to kill and if a police officer had been standing nearby then we could have quite easily been dealing with a murder."

The attack comes after Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde admitted dissident republican weaponry had become "more sophisticated".

Although these 'dissidents' failed in two murder bids on police officers earlier this month, police are worried about their growing threat.

Since the start of 2007, these 'rebel' republicans have been responsible for murdering Belfast men Joe Jones and Ed Burns, fire-bomb attacks on Orange halls, hoax bomb alerts and punishment attacks.

Police believe the Real IRA and Continuity IRA pose the biggest threat, but they now have to contend with a new terror group calling itself the Irish Republican Liberation Army.

The IRLA recently staged a show of strength before issuing death threats against senior Sinn Fein members over their support for policing

Meanwhile, a Strabane Sinn Fein councillor, Brian McMahon, representing 'mainstream' republicans, condemned the latest attack, adding: " It is now time for these groups to leave the stage because these people have no support in the nationalist community.

"If this is an attempt by these people to test Sinn Fein's support for policing then it is a test they will fail."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

24 May 2022
Warning Issued Over Thefts Of Catalytic Converters
The PSNI has issued a warning to the public following a number of reports of thefts of catalytic converters from cars in the North Coast area. There have been four reports of catalytic converters – an exhaust emission control device – being removed from cars parked in various locations including Portstewart Strand and Ballycastle in a week.
23 June 2016
Police Officers Disciplined For Failing To Tell Doctor About Woman's Head Injuries
Two police officers have been disciplined after they failed to let their colleagues and a police doctor know that a woman had sustained a head injury, a Police Ombudsman investigation has concluded. The woman died from bleeding to the brain on 24 February 2014, the day after she suffered the injury.
12 November 2015
No Evidence Found Police Were Involved In Sectarian Attack
No evidence has been found to support concerns that police did not intervene to stop a sectarian attack in Coleraine in which one man died and a number of people were injured, the Police Ombudsman has concluded.
01 March 2012
Man Arrested Over 1975 Bomb Attack
A man has been arrested in connection with a fatal bomb attack on a bar on the Shankill Road over 36 years ago. Five people were killed and 60 others were injured in the attack at Mountainview Tavern on 5 April 1975. The 54-year-old is being questioned at Antrim police station.
21 April 2008
Early Morning Petrol Bomb Attack Racial
A foreign national woman who is eight months pregnant was among four people targeted in a petrol bomb attack at the weekend. Police believe that the incident - in County Tyrone - was racial in its nature.