Monday, December 31, 2012

Northern Ireland : 3 rd Arrest over car bomb

N Ireland: 3rd arrest over car bomb

2013-01-02 13:01
Loyalists protest outside an Alliance Party office in east Belfast, Northern Ireland. (File, AFP)
Loyalists protest outside an Alliance Party office in east Belfast, Northern Ireland. (File, AFP)

Belfast - A third man was arrested in Northern Ireland on Tuesday over the attempted murder of a police officer who found a bomb underneath his car.

A 41-year-old man was detained in west Belfast, police said, after two men aged 34 and 25 were arrested on Monday in the Belfast area.

The targeted officer found the viable device underneath his vehicle in Belfast on Sunday. Army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion.

Senior officers have said the attack could have killed the off-duty policeman and his family.

A dissident republican group calling itself the "New IRA" (Irish Republican Army) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sporadic unrest

Dissident republicans want Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and join the Republic of Ireland to the south, but have not given up violence as a means of achieving their aims.

The IRA declared a formal end to its armed campaign in 2005, saying that it would pursue its aims through peaceful means.

Its political wing Sinn Fein is now part of the power-sharing government in Belfast, formed of Catholic and Protestant parties.

Around 3 500 people died in Northern Ireland's three decades of violence between Protestants, favouring continued union with Britain, and Catholics seeking a unified Ireland.

A 1998 peace agreement largely ended the conflict, but sporadic unrest and bomb threats continue as dissident offshoots remain violently opposed to those accords.

Read more on: northern ireland | security

Belfast Car Bomb: Two Men Arrested

Two men are arrested in Belfast in connection with the discovery of a car bomb found underneath a police officer's car.


Attempts are made to examine the booby trap in Belfast

Two men have been arrested in connection with a car bomb found underneath a Belfast police officer's car on Sunday.
The men, aged 25 and 34, were detained in Belfast after the constable discovered a bomb under his car at his home in the city on Sunday.

Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton revealed the officer was with his wife and two young children when he checked the car as a matter of routine.

The property is close to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) headquarters at Knock and the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.
Mr Hamilton said: "If that officer had not checked his car, we would have been looking at a murder or multiple murders.

"We believe the consequences of this would have been absolutely devastating for the officer, his family, for the police family and for the communities across Northern Ireland."
He added there was a severe threat level across Northern Ireland and appealed to officers to be vigilant and to check under their cars.

It is hoped that the bomb will be useful as evidence because it was discovered and did not engage.
A second device was found close to a police station in County Armagh on Monday, prompting residents to be evacuated.
And a pipe bomb was found close to the gates of a police station in the town of Tandragee, mid-Ulster, near the homes of elderly residents.

The booby-trapped device in Belfast was defused in a controlled explosion by the army.
During the last year, police have arrested 115 people suspected of dissident republican activity. Sixty four officers have also been forced to leave their homes because they were thought to be targets of potential attacks.

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