A VIABLE EXPLOSIVE device left by masked men in a bank in Newry, Co Down, has been defused by army officers.
The PSNI have confirmed that the two men walked into a building this morning with their faces covered and dropped a bag, before making off. According to RTÉ, the men issued a warning that a device would explode in 45 minutes at the town’s Santander bank.
Police cordoned off the town’s Margaret Square, along with the areas around Hill Street and Market Street, forcing dozens of businesses to shut their doors. An army technical squad was called in to deal with the device.
PSNI Chief Inspector David Beck this afternoon confirmed that the bomb was “a viable device capable of causing death, serious injury and damage to the area.” He also expressed his gratitude to the army officers for preventing the device from detonating.
Local MLA Dominic Bradley has told UTV the alert bears “all the hallmarks of dissident IRA activity”, adding: “The people of Newry are very angry the commercial life of Newry is being disrupted.” The PSNI are appealing for anyone with information to call Newry CID or Crimestoppers.
There was also a second security alert after a suspicious package was discovered in Ballymoney, Co Antrim this morning. The town’s Ozone Avenue and Meeting House Street were cordoned off.