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Belfast bomb carried out by people with 'depraved agenda', says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has condemned the bomb attack in the heart of Belfast city last night which police said had the potential to kill.

A PSNI officer close to the scene of the explosion in Belfast city centre last night
A PSNI officer close to the scene of the explosion in Belfast city centre last night
Image: AP Photo/Peter Morrison

THE TAOISEACH HAS condemned a bomb attack in Belfast city which police say had the potential to kill.

Enda Kenny said last night’s explosion was a ‘mindless attack on the sanctity of human life’ carried out by people with a ‘depraved agenda’.

The bomb was left in a holdall bag outside a restaurant in the busy Cathedral Quarter of the city last night.  The small explosion happened just before 7pm as police were clearing people from the area.

Police said a newspaper office received a warning about a device, but the actual bomb was left at a different location to the one named in the phone call.

No-one was injured in the blast, which happened in one of the most popular and busy parts of the city. The attack is believed to have been planted by republican dissidents.

Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum of the PSNI said the attack was “totally reckless” and carried out by people who had “nothing to offer except disruption and destruction”.

Enda Kenny said the attack should not be used to derail the peace process.

“I condemn this atrocity as a mindless attack on the sanctity of human life, carried out by people who’s [sic] depraved agenda cannot, and will not,  be allowed to gain a foothold in Northern Ireland,” Enda Kenny said.

“We must remain ever vigilant in ensuring that peace in Northern Ireland is maintained, and that it continues on its path to becoming an ever more progressive society”.

image

Armed police seal off the Cathedral Quarter last night. (Paul Faith/PA Wire)

Read: Belfast bomb ‘could have killed or maimed anyone nearby’ >

Read: Explosion forces evacuation of busy Belfast retail district >

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