PSNI suspect New IRA of ‘reckless’ bomb attack

PSNI suspect New IRA of ‘reckless’ bomb attack

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The Police Service of Northern Ireland suspects the New IRA was responsible for placing a bomb beside the car of a part-time police officer in the North.

Bomb experts have confirmed it was a viable device and police say a strong line of inquiry is that the attack was the work of the New IRA.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan said “a strong line of inquiry” is that the New IRA is to blame for the attempted murder.

“On several occasions before we have seen this group’s utter disregard for those working for local people in our community.

“If we think back to the bomb attack outside the Derry courthouse in 2019, a group of young people narrowly escaping being caught up in the blast.

“While the rest of the country was pausing to remember, almost to the day, two years ago, this group of wicked individuals murdered Lyra McKee in Creggan.

“It is clear they are still intent in recklessly targeting honest, hard-working members of our community and they have no regard for those they kill or harm in the process.

“I appeal to anyone who has any knowledge of this attack, or indeed of anyone involved in violent terrorist activity, to come forward and provide that information to police," he said.

Mr McEwan McEwan says a mother and her young toddler could have been killed:

“I can confirm that the device is viable and investigations are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.

“We are treating this as an attack on a member of staff who also serves her community as a part-time police officer.

"This was designed to cause a fireball which would've engulfed the victim's car and anyone in it or close by.

"What is really distressing here is the terrorist placed the bomb at the rear of the car directly at the point where the victim's three-year-old daughter sits.

"This demonstrates the complete, utter disregard for the life of a mother and her toddler," he said.

The viable explosive device was found outside her home in a rural area close to Dungiven, Derry.

A security operation has been ongoing since Monday on the Ballyquin Road since the discovery of the device.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has condemned those responsible for planting the explosive device at the officer’s car.

The Taoiseach tweeted: “Deeply reprehensible and cowardly attack on the home of a police officer in Northern Ireland last night.

“Politicians across this island must work together to avoid a return to the dark days of fear and terror.”

First Minister Arlene Foster condemned the attack.

“I have spoken to the police officer who was targeted by terrorists last night in County Londonderry,” she tweeted.

“I wanted to convey our support and utter condemnation of those who sought to harm her and her family. Reckless and futile. We salute her bravery and long service to our community.

“There will be political disagreements, but Northern Ireland must keep moving forward. 

We will not be dragged back to bombs and bullets.” 

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill added: “The attempted murder of a police officer near Dungiven is reprehensible.

“Those involved in this attack will not succeed in their regressive and toxic agenda.

“All politicians must unite against these reckless actions.

“We must keep building the peace for our children.” 

SDLP MLA Cara Hunter also condemned the attack.

“No one should have to live in fear of going to work,” she said.

“Our officers protect our communities every day and keep them safe. My thoughts are with the officer and their families.”

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