A senior PSNI officer has said the bomb left on the doorstep of a house in Dungiven was “attempted murder”.
Superintendent John Magill said the viable device left at the house in Ard-Na-Smoll, which was occupied at the time by a woman and her two-year-old daughter - was “a deliberate attempt to kill”.
Yes, I would class this as attempted murder...It’s a dangerous situation, and we could have been looking at multiple fatalities.”PSNI Supt. John Magill
Mr Magill said police are following a strong line of enquiry the bombs planted in Drumsurn, Banagher and Dungiven in the last month are linked, and have been carried out by the same group.
Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed it had left the bomb in Drumsurn.
“Yes, there are clear similarities between the three attacks and our detectives are joining up all three investigations and, certainly, a strong line of enquiry is that these devices were planted by violent dissident republicans with the intention to deliberately kill, or seriously injure anyone in the vicinity of the device,” Supt. Magill told the ‘Journal’.
Mr Magill revealed local firefighters attended a wheelie bin at the house, and police were subsequently alerted to the suspicious object.
When asked specifically about the doorstep bomb in Dungiven, Supt Magill said: “Yes, I would class this as attempted murder. If this device had of went off when, for instance, the firefighters were dealing with the fire at the bin, those firefighters could have been killed. They certainly would have been very seriously injured. It’s really important when you think this is a built-up area in Dungiven, with people coming and going from their homes and this deadly device was on the doorstep of a house, it’s a very serious matter.
“These devices are unstable, and could detonate at any time, so it is concerning. It’s a dangerous situation, and we could have been looking at multiple fatalities.”
Supt Magill said he has deployed additional patrols in the Roe Valley area, that police have a good flow of information and said the perpetrators will be brought before the courts.
“This is sinister. This was a deadly device and these devices are unstable. It could have went off at any time and the consequences would have been very bad for anyone in the vicinity of this device. They would have been killed or seriously injured. I have no doubt about that whatsoever.”
Mr Magill added; “As well as being unwelcome, the devices have led to the disruption of the lives of many individuals. Once again the message to those behind the devices is ‘get off the backs of the community’.
“The feedback we are getting is that there is no place for this in society and the people planting these devices represent no-one other than themselves. They should stop what they’re doing. They will end up before the courts and, if convicted, could spend a very long period of time in prison.”
Mr Magill appealed for information about “any unusual activity in the area. In particular we want to hear more about two men seen running away at about 9pm”.
Information can be given to police on the 101 non-emergency number, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Hear from the man whose home was targeted in the attack here www.derryjournal.com/news/dungiven-man-says-my-family-could-have-been-killed-1-7094252