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Unseen photos show the devastation caused by the IRA's 1996 Manchester bomb

The bomb was the second largest to ever have exploded in Britain.

bomb 12 Source: Flickr/Manchester Fire

YESTERDAY WAS 18 years since the the Provisional IRA detonated a 1,500kg bomb in the heart of Manchester.

Nobody was killed in the blast but 212 people suffered injuries, including six or seven people who were badly hurt.

The bomb was the second largest to ever have exploded in Britain and happened as England were hosting the 1996 European Football Championships. A match between Russia and Germany took place at Old Trafford in the city the day after the bombing.

Four telephone warnings were sent by the IRA to newspapers and television stations about 90 minutes ahead of the blast and police undertook an evacuation.

The bombing came during the period between the two IRA ceasefires in 1994 and 1997. The IRA had announced a ceasefire in 1994 but broke it in 1996 with a massive car bomb which killed two people in Canary Wharf in London. The IRA cited dissatisfaction with the the progress of peace talks as the reason for their resumption of violence.

Fresh peace talks in Northern Ireland had begun in the week before the Manchester Bomb but Sinn Féin were precluded from taking part.

Source: GM Police/YouTube

The 1996 Manchester Bomb caused widespread damage to buildings and businesses in the area and as fire service crews worked at the scene they took a range of photographs documenting the destruction.

Many of these photographs have never been released before but have now been published online by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Unseen photos show the devastation caused by the IRA's 1996 Manchester bomb
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Rónán Duffy

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