Police link N. Ireland car bomb to ‘New IRA’

Updated 20 January 2019

Police link N. Ireland car bomb to ‘New IRA’

  • Two men in their twenties were arrested in the city on Sunday
  • Londonderry was a consistent flashpoint in the three decades of sectarian bloodshed in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles

DERRY, N. Ireland: Police investigating a suspected car bombing in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry said on Sunday they believe dissident republican group the New IRA to be responsible.

The suspected bomb exploded at 8:10 p.m. (2010 GMT) on Saturday, as police were evacuating the area following a warning that a device had been planted outside the city courthouse. There were no casualties.

“Our main line of inquiry is against the New IRA,” said Police Service of Northern Ireland assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton.

“The New IRA, like most dissident republican groups in Northern Ireland, is small, largely unrepresentative, and determined to drag people back to somewhere they don’t want to be.

“The people responsible for this attack have shown no regard for the community or local businesses. They care little about the damage to the area and the disruption they have caused.”

 

Warning call

Two men in their twenties were arrested in the city on Sunday, as police and army explosives teams remained on the scene of the blast.

Police say they believe the vehicle used in the attack was hijacked locally from a delivery driver earlier on Saturday.

The warning call was made to a charity hotline in England, before being communicated to local law enforcement in the British province, police said.

Londonderry was a consistent flashpoint in the three decades of sectarian bloodshed in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.

Campaigns of assassination and car bombing between republicans and unionists were largely brought to an end by the 1998 Good Friday peace accords.

As part of the agreement, the Irish Republican Army paramilitary group decommissioned its last remaining weapons in 2005 and committed itself to pursuing its aim of a united Ireland through purely political means.

But dissident paramilitaries remain active on both sides of the divide.

“This attempt to disrupt progress in Northern Ireland has rightly been met with utter condemnation from all parts of the community,” said Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley.

“The small number of people responsible have absolutely nothing to offer Northern Ireland’s future and will not prevail.”

“This is intolerable violence and we want to look forward and build a peaceful future for all in Northern Ireland.”

Former Northern Irish first minister Arlene Foster, who heads the province’s Democratic Unionist Party, referred to it as a “pointless act of terror,” while the Republic of Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called it a “car bomb terrorist attack.”


France urges ‘rapid formation’ of new Lebanese government

Updated 9 min 11 sec ago

France urges ‘rapid formation’ of new Lebanese government

PARIS: France on Monday urged the speedy formation of a new Lebanese government “that can live up to the expectations of the people,” after premier Hassan Diab’s cabinet quit over the Beirut blast.
“The aspirations expressed by the Lebanese in terms of reforms and governance must be heard,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.
“The priority must be the rapid formation of a government that can live up to the expectations of the people, whose mission will be to meet the main challenges of the country, especially the reconstruction of Beirut and reforms without which the country will plunge into economic, social and political chaos,” he said.
Diab’s government, formed in January to tackle a spiralling economic crisis, has faced all-out public fury since an explosion in Beirut port last week that killed at least 160 people, wounded 6,000 others and ravaged swathes of the capital.

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