Car bomb defused in Northern Ireland

2013-03-24 14:40
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Dublin - British Army experts defused a car bomb on Saturday that had been abandoned on a rural roadside in Northern Ireland, a threat that is raising concerns about the region's hosting of the G8 summit later this year.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the car contained a beer keg packed with about 60kg of homemade explosives. Metal kegs often have been used in the construction of Irish Republican Army-style bombs because they are easily portable and produce showers of shrapnel when detonated.

Police District Commander Pauline Shields said detectives suspected that an IRA splinter group planned to blast the nearby police base in the County Fermanagh border town of Lisnaskea, but may have been forced by a police patrol to abandon the bomb short of its target.

It would be the third foiled IRA attack on police installations this month, following two attempted mortar attacks on police stations in Northern Ireland's two major cities, Londonderry on 3 March and Belfast on 15 March.

The car bomb was left before dawn on Friday on a bridge near the Fermanagh village of Derrylin 6km from Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland.

Police shut the main road connecting the Fermanagh town of Enniskillen with the Irish capital, Dublin, and evacuated several homes for two days as bomb disposal technicians worked slowly in heavy snow and mindful that the bomb could have been placed to lure soldiers and police into the area for an ambush.

Troublingly for Northern Ireland's security and political chiefs, the bomb was left just 18km down the road from the planned venue for the 17-18 June summit of the world's Group of Eight leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read more on:    northern ireland

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