Northern Ireland

Fermanagh bomb attack 'carried out by Continuity IRA'

PSNI Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A police officer at the scene of the bomb at Cavan Road, Fermanagh

The Continuity IRA were behind an explosion which was a "deliberate attempt" to murder PSNI and Army officers, the police have said.

The bomb attack happened near Wattlebridge, close to the border, on Monday. No-one was injured.

It is the fifth attempt to murder police officers so far this year.

The head of the PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit said forensic examinations of the device are ongoing.

On Sunday, police received reports that suggested a device had been left on the Wattlebridge Road.

They believe a hoax device was used to lure officers and soldiers into the area to catch them by surprise with a real bomb.

At about 10:35 BST on Monday, it was reported there had been an explosion at Cavan Road close to its junction with the Wattlebridge Road.

'Detonated without warning'

Det Supt Sean Wright said the PSNI worked with An Garda Siochana (Irish police) during the operation.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police at the scene of the explosion near Fermanagh

He said the device "detonated without warning" and was not a controlled explosion carried out by officers.

"This demonstrates how volatile these devices are and I am thankful that there were no injuries," said Det Supt Wright.

"Our investigation has indicated that this was a deliberate attempt by the Continuity IRA to murder police officers and Army personnel.

"Thankfully these terrorists did not succeed in their murderous attempt."

He added that once "satisfied that no further explosive devices were present", officers completed forensic examination of the bomb and the scene.

"Those responsible for this reckless attack clear do not care about their community and the lives of those who live in the local area," added Det Supt Wright.

He also appealed for drivers who were in the area between 18:00 BST on Friday 16 August and 200:00 BST on Saturday to come forward - particularly if they have dashcam footage.

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Media caption'A sense that things are becoming more entrenched' : Police on bomb attack

Following the explosion, Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin appealed for political progress in Northern Ireland.

There has not been a power-sharing executive since January 2017 - with all attempts to restore government having so far failed.

DCC Martin said: "Police play their part, but police on their own are not sufficient to say 'you do not represent the society we want to live in'."

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