Bomb defused near G8 summit resort


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The Independent Online

A car bomb was made safe in Co Fermanagh this weekend not far from the luxury Lough Erne golf resort in Northern Ireland where this June's G8 conference of world leaders is due to be held. Dissident republicans were last night considered the prime suspects.

Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) district commander, said: "The people responsible for this have no regard for the lives of anyone in our community. It is fortunate that no one was killed or seriously injured as a result of this reckless act."

Ch Supt Shields added: "Although investigations are at an early stage, it is our assessment that this vehicle was destined for Lisnaskea PSNI station."

After a report of a suspect vehicle in the area in the early hours of Friday a security operation was put in place which continued through the night until just before lunchtime yesterday.

Residents were evacuated from their homes. Army technical officers carried out a clearance operation on the suspicious car and a viable device was made safe.

Ch Supt Shields added: "Once again the lives of residents have been put at risk by an element intent on causing loss of life and disruption.

"The people who carried out this act are not part of the society within which the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to live. The subsequent operation has tied up resources that would otherwise be dealing with community issues."

The US President Barack Obama, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to attend the G8 meeting.

A massive security operation will be mounted and thousands of police officers from other UK forces will be drafted in to help bolster PSNI numbers. They will help provide security and safety at a range of venues and will be able to exercise the same powers of arrest, stop and search.

The finger of blame for the latest attempted attack on police will be pointed at dissident republicans, who have murdered two soldiers, two policemen and a prison guard in their campaign of violence.

A week ago officers discovered a mortar-type device aimed towards New Barnsley police station in north Belfast. Also, three officers escaped injury when an explosive device detonated within metres of them as they patrolled a coastal path on the outskirts of Belfast.

Earlier this month two men were arrested after police intercepted a van carrying four mortar bombs which were primed and ready to fire at a station in Derry.