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Dublin: 8°C Friday 23 October 2020

Petrol bombs and bricks thrown at police who were lured to scene

The PSNI said it believes an initial phone call about the first device was designed to lure police into the area to be targeted by a second bomb.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 14.44pm

PETROL BOMBS AND bricks were thrown at police in Northern Ireland as they attended a security alert in Lurgan yesterday.

The PSNI were called to the scene on Victoria Street following reports of a suspicious device.

While that device was found not to be viable, another improvised explosive device was detonated at the scene.

Superintendent David Moore said:

The viable device that detonated during today’s operation was significant and absolutely designed to kill.This alert initially began with a call to the Samaritans that claimed a device which had been aimed at a police patrol during the early hours had failed to explode.

A suspicious object was quickly located by officers and the area was evacuated.

An exhaustive search was subsequently carried out, during which the second device detonated.

Moore added:

It is my belief that the phone call and the first device were designed to lure police into the area to be targeted by the second device. This was a clear and unequivocal murder attempt on the policemen and women who serve the community in Lurgan.

He said the “professional, methodical and diligent way” the officers responded to this incident undoubtedly saved lives, while he said their own and potentially those of local people were placed in grave danger by the “heinous criminals who planted this device”.

It is also disappointing that during this operation police officers were subjected to repeated attack with petrol bombs and bricks by a small and unrepresentative section of the community.That this should happen whilst police officers were already placing themselves at considerable risk in the interests of keeping local people safe, is deeply regrettable.I have also been heartened however by the support we have received from a much broader section of the local community and those who properly represent them.

A full investigation is now underway.

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams condemned those who planted an explosive devices in County Armagh, stating:

“Those behind this attack are entirely unrepresentative of the wider community and are enemies of peace, political progress, and Irish unity.

“They have no strategy, support or ideas. They should cease their activities.

“Despite the huge political challenges that face our society, the North is in a process of transformation.

“This is being resisted by those who wish to maintain the divisions and discrimination of the past.

“There is no place for militarist factions who merely serve to drag our society backwards.”

Anyone with any information is asked to get in touch on 101 or through the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

First published 09.24am

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