Northern Ireland: Three arrested over failed bomb attack on police

Police in Northern Ireland said on Saturday (November 19), that three men were arrested on terror charges over a failed bomb attack on two officers. This is first such assault in several years. The officers were targetted in Strabane. It’s a city near the border with Ireland.

“Detectives from the Terrorism Investigation Unit investigating the attempted murder of two police officers in Strabane on Thursday evening… have arrested three men and conducted a number of searches in Strabane,” the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said on Twitter.

“Three men, aged 36, 36 and 28, have been arrested under the Terrorism Act.”

Assistant chief constable Bobby Singleton, of the PSNI said that the officers were on a routine patrolling duty when they saw a flash and heard a loud bang. The officers were not injured. But their vehicles received some blast damage.

Officers discovered what could be a command wire for the improvised device during follow-up searches.

The incident is being blamed on the New IRA.

The explosion has drawn criticism from the government as well as Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA. B

Irish prime minister Micheal Martin said “any such attempt to injure members of the security forces or the PSNI would be absolutely shocking and stands to be condemned”.

UK Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris called it a “highly dangerous” act and said he was grateful no one was harmed.

Meanwhile Sinn Fein vice-president Michelle O’Neill, who is set to become first minister if power-sharing can be restored, said the incident was “reprehensible” and urged people to “unite against these reckless actions”. 

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