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One of the grenades seized at from the car Police Service Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland

Grenade filled with nails would have caused 'serious injury or death'

The PSNI said the grenades had been intended to attack police.

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland have released images of a grenade filled with nails which they said could have caused ‘serious injury or death’ if it had exploded.

The grenade was seized last May but the PSNI made the images public today after two men arrested in connection with the discovery were sentenced to jail.

The men, Thomas Hamill and Martin Gilloway, both aged 41, were arrested after police officers stopped a car in Dungannon and seized seven grenades. Both men were sentenced to jail for five years today after pleading guilty to possession of explosives with intent, with another five years on licence.

The PSNI said the sentences should act as a deterrent and showed that people “convicted of serious terrorist offences can expect to lose their liberty for a considerable time.”

A spokesperson for the Serious Crime Branch of the PSNI said the improvised devices were probably intended to be used to attack police or other members of the security forces.

They said that the grenades contained nails, nuts and bolts (see photo below) which would have caused “serious injuries or worse to anyone in the vicinity of these devices exploding”.

“There is no doubt that the actions of police in this case have protected their colleagues and the public from serious injury or death,” the spokesperson said, adding:

We will continue to pursue those who seek to bring terror to our communities and put them before the courts.

The contents of one of the grenades (Photo: PSNI)

Read: Northern Ireland has a choice about ‘what type of summer’ it wants >

Read: Shots fired at police officers were ‘random and indiscriminate’ >

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