Rembrance Sunday bomb intercepted

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The Independent Online

Police foiled a mortar bomb attack in Northern Ireland on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Remembrance Sunday bomb that killed 11 people.

Police foiled a mortar bomb attack in Northern Ireland on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Remembrance Sunday bomb that killed 11 people.

Police intercepted a white van carrying the device which is known as a "barrack buster" in Co Fermanagh at 9.15pm on Saturday. An RUC officer fired two shots during the incident but no one was injured. Four men were arrested.

Three cars were abandoned at the scene, at Teemore crossroads near Derrylin on the main Enniskillen-to-Dublin road. A follow-up search uncovered false number plates and CB radios. "Due to the indiscriminate nature of this device nine family homes had to be evacuated," an RUC spokesman said.

Police spent all day yesterday disarming the device. "It's very sad considering what happened there happened in Enniskillen a few years ago," the RUC spokesman said, referring to the 1987 Remembrance Day bomb.

The "barrack-buster" was intercepted less than 10 miles from the Enniskillen cenotaph where a 40lb IRA bomb detonated on 8 November 1987 during a wreath laying ceremony. As well as killing the 11, the blast injured 63 people.

The scars left by the bomb are still deep in Enniskillen, where it was seen as an attack not only on the town's people but on the acts of remembrance and national sacrifice.

Enniskillen was the only town in the British Isles to have raised two regiments - the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. The 1987 bombing sparked outrage around the world and the IRA said the terrorist act was "a mistake".

Neither the RUC or Scotland Yard would confirm reports yesterday of a Real IRA plot to smuggle a partially made 500lb bomb into central London in a horse box for a pre-Christmas attack. The RUC intercepted the explosives in the western outskirts of Belfast on 26 October. Police found five 50kg bags of fertiliser along with shrapnel and nuts and bolts.

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