Northern Ireland

Bombers are 'evil and insane' says Paterson

Image caption Mr Paterson said the bomb attack in Derry was "insane"

The actions of dissident republicans in Northern Ireland are irrational and evil, Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson has said.

Dissidents are being blamed for a car bomb that exploded outside Strand Road police station in Londonderry on Tuesday.

It's thought they also tried to murder an army major in a booby trap car bomb attack in Bangor.

Mr Paterson said the bombers were "insane and irrational".

He said he was in Derry two weeks ago for the City of Culture celebrations, which were all about people pulling together.

"You have this tiny number of irrational people trying to pull everything down," Mr Paterson said.

"They won't succeed because they have no popular support at all as far as I can see, no electoral support, no real political backing.

"They will not achieve whatever their misguided aims are by violence."

Mr Paterson said there was no excuse for people not to work with the police against the dissidents.

"Everybody must be vigilant and everyone must work together - this is very much a team game, it cannot be done by the police alone," he said.

"There's a tiny number of people here trying to disrupt what's going on, they're unrepresentative and what they're doing is totally evil."

Claim

On Wednesday, an organisation calling itself Oglaigh na hEireann claimed it was behind the attack on Strand Road police station.

In a statement, the organisation also said it had attempted to bomb the police barracks on the previous day.

It said that attack had not gone ahead after two taxi drivers "refused to cooperate with instructions".

Two hundred pounds of homemade explosives were used in Tuesday's car bomb attack.

The cordon around the scene of the attack at Strand Road/Clarendon Street has been moved to the Strand Road/Asylum Road junction.

Boating Club Lane has now been reopened up to the junction of Strand Road.

The other point at Strand Road/Lawrence Hill remains in place.

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