Pipe bomb found during Townsend Street, Strabane, alert

PSNI Ch Insp Andy Lemon said he believed dissident republicans were responsible for leaving the device

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Dissident republicans have been blamed for leaving a viable pipe bomb at Townsend Street in Strabane, County Tyrone.

The device, which was discovered shortly after 01:00 BST on Tuesday, was found in an area known locally as the Back Row.

It has been taken away for examination.

Residents who were moved out of their homes during the alert have now returned. Thirty houses were evacuated.

A bomb was also discovered at Strabane Golf Club on Monday morning.

'Madness'

PSNI Ch Insp Andy Lemon said: "This device was totally different to the one found yesterday (Monday) which was a much larger device designed to cause casualties.

"I believe this device was probably abandoned in the area.

"It was left in an alleyway where young people would have been passing through.

"It just shows a total lack of concern for people in the area. Had this not been found, it beggars belief what could have happened.

"I would clearly point to dissident republicans as being responsible for both devices.

"I am disappointed that these things are still going on. It's ridiculous. It's not only an attack on the police, but also an attack on the community.

'Displaying murderous intent'

"The threat in this area is severe, just like it is in Northern Ireland.

"I believe the device that was found on Monday may have been detonated if the gate it was attached to was opened."

Ulster Unionist MLA Ross Hussey accused those responsible for leaving the two devices in Strabane of "displaying murderous intent".

"These are just ordinary criminals and killers who are no more driven by the constitutional issue than a murderous desire to inflict maximum human suffering," he said.

"The people behind these attacks need to realise they have no support amongst the wider public for their actions."

Sinn Fein councillor Karina Carlin said: "There was great frustration and fear in the community this morning.

"Here we are in 2014 and people are still being put out of their homes.

"My message to those involved is to listen to the people in the community."

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