Assembly to condemn bid to derail peace process

The Northern Ireland Assembly is today expected to condemn the latest attempts to derail the peace process after a car bomb attack and gun battle involving suspected dissident republicans.

The 400lb bomb partially exploded after a vehicle broke through a barrier outside the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Policing Board in Belfast.



Nobody was hurt but two men were seen escaping from the area at Clarendon Dock on Saturday night.



In a separate incident, five men were arrested after police exchanged fire with suspected dissident republicans close to the border with the Irish Republic in Co Fermanagh.



The Police Service of Northern Ireland detained four in the area and Irish police the other in Dooard, Co Leitrim.



Chief Constable Matt Baggott said Saturday's attacks were designed to derail political progress.



"We have said from day one that the terrorist situation is severe. We have substantial resources being put into investigating and thwarting these attacks," he said.



"This attack is an attack on the well-being of everybody in Northern Ireland, this is not about an attack on policing or the Policing Board, this is an attack on young people and young people's future."



A car was found burned out nearby in the staunchly republican New Lodge area of the city and police are investigating whether there was any link with the earlier attack at around 7pm last night.



The chief constable said that in Fermanagh his officers fired two warning shots, which are being investigated by Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson. He said his officers had been fired at once during the exchange.



It is understood the attack in Garrison was an attempt to kill a police officer who lived in the village but it believed the officer was not at home.



The ages of the detained men are 22, 26, 32, and 41.



A suspect arrested by police in the Irish Republic is aged 27.



Earlier this month the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) reported that the dissident republican threat in Northern Ireland was at its highest level for almost six years.



The IMC said the two main dissident republican groups, the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, were working more closely together to increase the threat posed to security forces.



On March 7 the Real IRA killed sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, at Massereene Army base in Antrim.



Two days later the Continuity IRA shot PSNI Constable Stephen Paul Carroll in Craigavon, County Armagh.



In the period covered by the report, March 1 until August 31, there have been 11 attempts to kill other PSNI officers in Northern Ireland.

* Source: The Belfast Telegraph

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)