Deadly bomb 'was size of lunchbox'

The bomb which killed Constable Ronan Kerr was the size of a lunch box and weighed up to half a kilogramme, police said today.

The under-car device was probably detonated using a mercury tilt switch and was housed in a grey plastic container, Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray said.



He believes the device could have been brought into the Omagh, Co Tyrone, housing estate anytime from last Thursday onwards.







The detective said the device included a safety timer but that was probably not the means of detonating it.

"We believe it may be up to 500g of high explosives, that is an initial forensic assessment," he said.



"History and previous attacks of this nature tell us the most likely means of detonation is a tilt switch, however we cannot confirm that and we have not closed our minds to options."







Forensics experts have been combing the residential area for clues left by the explosion. The type of explosive is still under investigation, Mr Murray added.

"It was most likely housed in some sort of thick grey plastic box," he said.



He added: "Something around the size of a lunch box."



Pc Kerr, 25, a Catholic recent recruit to the police service, was getting into his car when the booby trap bomb exploded on Saturday afternoon.



He was on his way to work. He lived with two male friends who were not police officers.







One line of inquiry is a number of dissident threats made in Omagh beforehand. The senior detective did not say which dissident group was responsible.

Examining CCTV security cameras at the development forms a major part of the inquiry. Extensive trawls at the scene have uncovered component parts of the device which are being analysed.



Mr Murray said he was appealing for information about all vehicles which went into the Highfield estate after tea time on Thursday until the time of the blast at around 4pm on Saturday.



Pc Kerr returned home from duty at around 1am on Friday morning.



Mr Murray added: "The bomb planters had to come into the estate and plant the device.



"The movements of people and vehicles in that development in a certain time-frame is absolutely critical to us identifying potential bomb planters."



Police have been conducting door-to-door inquiries but he urged people to come forward without awaiting a knock.



The detective added: "The answer to the question of who planted the bomb and can we catch them lies in that detail.



"Amongst ordinary people living ordinary, decent lives were terrorists."





PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Job Title: Business Analyst Rate: £300 - £350 per...

C# .NET Developer

£290 - £291 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Manchester C#.NET ...

SAP FICO Consultant - Midlands - Contract

£450 - £500 per day: Progressive Recruitment: SAP FICO Consultant - Midlands -...

SAP PROJECT MANAGER

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MAN...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform