NI talks adjourn as tension mounts

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The Independent Online
The Northern Ireland peace process yesterday experienced both a bang and a whimper. The quiet adjournment of political talks, together with the realisation that loyalists had just attempted to blow up a southern Irish town.

With both the general election and local council elections due to take place shortly, the adjournment of the talks was seen as inevitable. Their resumption is expected once the electoral contests are out of the way. But in the meantime the dangers of a political vacuum were emphasised when it emerged that a bomb left at a Sinn Fein office in the border town of Monaghan had not been a hoax, as was originally reported, but had in fact contained a substantial amount of explosives. The device is believed to be the work of the Ulster Volunteer Force. Its significance is that it was the first bombing attack carried out by the group since it declared a ceasefire in October 1994.