Poll candidate escapes bomb attack

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The Independent Online

A Northern Ireland local election candidate has escaped injury after a pipe bomb exploded on his bed.

The device was thrown through the bedroom window of Democratic Unionist candidate John Smyth Jnr's apartment in Antrim shortly before 4am.



Mr Smyth was in the living room at the time and rushed in to extinguish the fire.



"If I had been in bed I would be dead now, no question," said the 30-year-old factory worker.



"I am a night shift worker and had the night off but I couldn't sleep because I had slept through the day. So I was in the living room on the laptop doing some research for the election and watching TV when I heard this smash and an explosion. It sounded like a firework going off.



"There was smoke billowing down the hall and I ran down and my bed was on fire."



Mr Smyth, who is running in the local government elections for Antrim Borough Council, lives in Seacash Walk in the Steeples area of the town.



His father, also called John, is already a member of Antrim Council.



The council hopeful speculated why he had been targeted.



"The only things I can think of is because I am running for council for the DUP and because of my stance on drugs - I am very much against drugs," he said.



Police said a motive for the attack remained under investigation and have appealed for witnesses to come forward.