‘New bomb’ discovery in Derry was intended to kill police

District Commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Martin pictured at Friday's Press conference at Strand Road PSNI station. 1212Jm06
District Commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Martin pictured at Friday's Press conference at Strand Road PSNI station. 1212Jm06
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The device seized during a PSNI operation in Creggan last night was intended to kill police officers, the Foyle Area Commander has said.

Speaking at Strand Road Police Station, Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said the bomb was an Explosively Formed Projectile, commonly used in attacks against the armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The District Commander said it was the first time such a device had been discovered in Derry but that it was the fourth such find across the North in recent months. The discovery was made during an ongoing investigation into dissident republican activity when police stopped a black Renault Megane car at Westway in Creggan at 8:40pm on Thursday. Three men were arrested at the scene and one man was arrested nearby.

“This EFP was designed primarily to be used against police and such devices have been used to kill the occupants of armoured vehicles in places like Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Ch. Sup. Martin.

He described the find as a worrying development but said it wouldn’t deter officers in their efforts to protect and serve the Derry public.

“We will not be put off by this minority. We are dealing with a small, misguided group of people in the city,” he said. “I can assure the Derry public that police will continue to go about their duty.”

The senior police officer said that while he was constantly reviewing patrols there would be no increased security presence in the city centre.

“I’m content that I have sufficient resources and as we look ahead to the City of Culture I’m confident that if I need more resources I will get them but I want people to be able to get about in the run-up to Christmas and I’m not going to be kneejerked into some sort of security crackdown. I’m about opening this city up, not closing it down,” he said.

(For further coverage see this weekend’s Sunday Journal)