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Dissident republicans 'attempt to murder police officers' with viable device, PSNI say

A full security clearance operation is underway.

Ammunition technical officer and forensic officers in Tullygally Road, Craigavon, Co Armagh following the incident
Ammunition technical officer and forensic officers in Tullygally Road, Craigavon, Co Armagh following the incident
Image: Brian Lawless via PA Images

Updated Jul 27th 2019, 4:54 PM

DISSIDENT REPUBLICANS HAVE attempted to kill police officers with a viable device, according to the PSNI.

At around midnight last night, police received a report of a loud bang in the area of the Tullygally Road in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

According to PSNI chief inspector Barney O’ Connor, police were then contacted by a Belfast-based newspaper who reported that a call had been made to them claiming that a device had been fired at a police patrol but had missed its target.

“At this stage we believe the device to be viable and that this was an attempt by dissident republican terrorists to murder police officers,” O’Connor said in a statement today. 

The PSNI has confirmed that there was no police patrol in the area at the time of the first report. 

Police believe the initial “loud bang” may have been an “attempt to lure police officers to the area”.

Following reports of the incident, officers responded and a suspicious object was located.

A full security clearance operation was implemented. The PSNI has confirmed the security alert has ended. 

Those evacuated are now allowed to return to their homes. 

“I cannot condemn strongly enough those behind this cowardly and despicable act of terrorism,” O’Connor added.

“They offer nothing to this community and their actions here do not reflect the wishes of the vast majority of the law-abiding residents of this area,” he said.

Huge disruption has been caused to the lives of those residents who live nearby with people being evacuated from their homes in the middle of the night and roads and streets subject to closure while we carried out this necessary security and search operation.
Attacks on police and other security services are attacks on the entire community and they are an attack on our democracy. Anyone willing to launch such an attack in a residential area cares little about our communities. Their reckless violence cannot be allowed to continue.  

“There are people within our communities who know who did this. There are also people out there who know those who are members of terrorist groups,” O’Connor said.

“My plea to all of those people is to tell us what they know and by doing so they will help to prevent this small minority dragging us back to the past.”

Anyone who can assist in the investigation is being asked to get in touch with the PSNI by calling 101 or contacted UK Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Once the security operation has been completed, the device will be removed and will be subject to detailed forensic examination.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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