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Derry ‘car bomb’: Police warn people to stay away after blazing vehicle spotted outside court

‘This is the past and it has to stay in the past’

Zamira Rahim
Saturday 19 January 2019 21:57 GMT
A suspected car bomb has exploded in Londonderry
A suspected car bomb has exploded in Londonderry (PSNI)

A suspected car bomb has exploded on Bishop Street in the Northern Irish city of Derry, which is also known as Londonderry.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) tweeted a photograph of an explosion and warned people to stay away from the blaze, which occurred close to a courthouse.

Officers are at the scene and asked for the “patience and co-operation of the public and the business community” as they began initial investigations

No one is thought to have been injured but the PSNI said there was a second car they were concerned about, parked on the same street and local residents have been evacuated.

“There is another car we are not happy about,” the police force said on its Foyle Facebook page.

Residents who lived nearby were urged to “look at potentially making preparations to leave”.

“We can only apologise for any inconvenience,” the PSNI said.

“I am concerned at the reports coming from Londonderry and am being kept informed by PSNI,” Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said in a statement.

Other politicians also expressed their dismay at the incident.

“Derry is a city moving forward and no one wants this type of incident. It is not representative of the city,” Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion said in a statement.

“Whoever is responsible for this explosion outside Bishop Street Courthouse in Derry clearly hasn’t got the message that the people of Derry DO NOT want this on our streets,” Social Democratic and Labour Party MLA Mark H Durkan said in a tweet posted on Saturday night.

“We are trying to move Derry forward and will not let anyone drag us back to the dark days of the past.”

Derry’s SDLP mayor John Boyle challenged those responsible on what the aim was.

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He said: “I would actually like to ask the people responsible for this what it actually was that they thought they were going to achieve.

“It achieves nothing, it didn’t achieve anything in the past, it didn’t achieve anything right now.

“I have a question for them, what was this all about, because quite frankly this is not something that the people of this city wanted to see, it’s not something they support, and as mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, I have to say I feel it incumbent upon me to speak out on behalf of the vast, vast majority of people in Derry, Strabane and indeed across this island, this is not what we want.

“This is the past and it has to stay in the past. We don’t want to see any more of it.”

The city was severely affected by the Troubles during the 1960s and 1970s.

Additional reporting by agencies

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