Real IRA attacks family of N.Ireland police officer

A small bomb blast outside the home of parents of a police officer in Northern Ireland on Friday, days after a huge bomb was defused

Real IRA attacks family of N.Ireland police officer

A splinter group of republican militants claimed responsibilty on Friday for a small bomb blast outside the home of parents of a police officer in Northern Ireland on Friday, days after a huge bomb was defused.

Dissident militants opposed to Northern Ireland's peace agreement remain a serious threat despite the mainstream Irish Republican Army (IRA) having ended its armed campaign against British rule more than 10 years ago.

The Real IRA, which killed two British soldiers outside an army barracks in March, claimed responsibility for the blast and the planting of a second device outside the policeman's sister's home.

No one was injured in the explosion in the early hours of Friday morning. A car was damaged in the attack.

"These are cowardly and sinister attempts not only to unnerve a young officer and his family but to intimidate the entire community," Mark Durkan, leader of the nationalist SDLP party, said in a statement.

In a call to a Derry-based journalist, a representative of the Real IRA also claimed responsibility for the shooting of a man in the city of Londonderry on Thursday night. The group accused the victim of "anti-social behaviour" and warned him to leave the city.

On Tuesday, the police said had they had made safe a bomb containing 600 lb (272 kg) of home-made explosives, which they said targeted their officers and could also have hit nearby homes.

The bomb was bigger than the one which killed 29 people in Omagh in 1998 in the deadliest single incident of Northern Ireland's "Troubles". Its control wire led across the border into the Republic of Ireland.

This week the last remaining pro-British paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland vowed to scrap their weapons by February, following similar moves by others in June.

Reuters

 

Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2009, 11:55
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