A bomb found in car at Buncrana Road on Monday could have “injured or maimed”, police have said.
The device, which was found by police investigating dissident republican activity in the city, was said to be “viable” following examination by British Army bomb disposal experts.
In a statement, Area Commander Chief Inspector Jon Burrows, said: “I am in no doubt had the device exploded it could have injured or maimed innocent members of the public and it is due to the efficient evacuations set in place in the surrounding areas that no-one came to any harm. Police took appropriate and necesary measures to ensure the safety of the whole community following the discovery of this viable explosive device in a car.” Four homes in the Temple Court area were evacuated during he operation while there was widespread traffic congestion. ACI Burrows paid tribute to the people of Derry for their “patience” and hit out at those responsible. “The blame for any disruption lies squarely with the misguided individuals who were responsible for this bomb being on a busy road close to people’s homes. I have no doubt that those responsible are trying to drag us back to the past but this will not be allowed to happen.”
Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney called on the dissident republican group behind the incident to “disband immediately”. “There is no justification in the new political climate that has been created for any form of armed action. But if those behind this and other incidents have a logical analysis of what they hope to achieve then they have a responsibility to explain it to the people of Ireland. The vast majority of people not only in this city but across Ireland accept that the present institutions allow for all political philosophies to be pursued on an equal basis.”
SDLP Assemblyman Pat Ramsey said there was a “sense of relief” that the police intercepted the pipebomb. “It’s obvious this was targeting somebody, although there is a sense of relief it has left a sinister taste. I appeal to anyone who has information of this to pass it to the police without delay.”
He said the disruption caused by would-be bombers was “unacceptable”.