Car bomb near police station in Northern Ireland defused

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The Independent Online

A car bomb abandoned outside a police station in Northern Ireland has been defused.

Police confirmed that a Peugeot 406 left at the gates of Newtownhamilton station in Co Armagh at 2am yesterday morning, prompting a day long security alert, contained an explosive device.

The foiled terrorist attack, which will be blamed on dissident republicans, came little over 24 hours after a Real IRA car bomb exploded outside the regional headquarters of M15 in Holywood, Co Down.

No one was seriously injured in that blast, but its deadly potential was clear from the pieces of twisted shrapnel found 300m from the obliterated taxi that the bomb detonated in.

It is widely suspected the murder bids were timed to coincide with the symbolic transfer of policing and justice powers from London to Stormont.

While around 40 residents were moved from their homes in Holywood in the aftermath of the bomb at Palace Barracks, around 60 homes in Newtownhamilton were evacuated for more than 12 hours today as Army Technical Officers examined the vehicle.

Local police commander Chief Inspector Sam Cordner said the Peugeot was filled with containers of flammable liquid.

"Yet again these cowardly criminals have shown complete disregard for the safety of the people of South Armagh and for police officers who serve this community," he said.

"My thanks go to the people of Newtownhamilton for their patience and support during this operation."

He urged anyone with information about those responsible to contact police.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph