Police issue appeal over failed mortar attack

The holdall which police believe was used to transport a mortar type device to Lawrence Hill last night (Thursday).
The holdall which police believe was used to transport a mortar type device to Lawrence Hill last night (Thursday).

Detectives in Derry have issued a photo appeal to the public regarding the holdall they believe was used to transport a mortar type device to Lawrence Hill in the city last night.

A large scale security alert was prompted by the discovery of the device, less than 24 hours after 35 year old Barry McCrory was shot dead at a Shipquay Street apartment. It’s thought the device was intended to target the nearby Strand Road police station.

A police spokesperson said: “Detectives from Serious Crime Branch investigating the failed mortar attack in Derry last night have released a photo of the holdall which police suspect was used by the terrorists to carry the device to its launch point. Police believe the blue holdall containing the mortar type device was either carried or wheeled to Lawrence Hill.”

They are appealing for anyone who recognises the holdall, which might normally be used to carry sports gear or promotional equipment, to contact them on 0845 600 8000. They also want to speak to anyone who saw it being carried or wheeled in the Lawrence Hill area last night.

The spokesperson said the device had all the component parts to make it viable.

Hundreds of people in areas surrounding Lawrence Hill had to leave their homes because of the alert.

Anyone with information about the device is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000. Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.