Bomb found as two cities sealed off

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The Independent Online
POLICE evacuated Oxford and Bristol city centres yesterday after a coded bomb warning was made to police in Dublin by a caller claiming to be from the IRA.

A controlled explosion was carried out on a device found in the Reject Shop in Cornmarket, Oxford, soon after midday.

No one was injured and no damage was caused. Police were unable to say last night how big the bomb was. The city centre remained sealed off last night.

The warning came from a man, using an IRA code, who claimed devices had been planted at the Reject Shop in Oxford and The Galleries in Bristol, where police also sealed off the central shopping area to search for a device.

The discovery of the Oxford bomb, concealed in what police described as a 'suspect package', came 72 hours after two firebombs caused damage to the Bristol branch of the Reject Shop, also in The Galleries mall, on Sunday. No one was injured in that attack.

Police from Oxford and Bristol last night joined forces to hunt for those responsible.

Chief Inspector John Reeve said that the device found in Oxford bore 'all the hallmarks of the IRA'.