Real IRA claim Derry blast

The Real IRA have claimed responsibility for last night's car bomb attack on the Ulster Bank on Culmore Road.

In a call to the 'Derry Journal,' a spokesperson for the organisation, using a recognised codeword, said it was behind the attack.

The bomb exploded shortly after midnight, causing substantial damage to the bank and a number of nearby buildings in the Da Vinci's retail complex , including shops and a nearby hotel.

Hotel guest and residents of a several homes in the area were evacuated for a short time. No one was injured in the blast.

The PSNI said they received a phone warning about the bomb just over an hour before the explosion and a security cordon was in place when the bomb, which was in a Vauxhall Corsa car, went off.

The bomb attack comes weeks after the Real IRA warned it would attack what it described as "economic targets," including banks and other financial institutions.

A number of roads were sealed off following the explosion, causing traffic chaos in many parts of the city. The Culmore Road and Pennyburn Roundabout is likely to remain closed while the PSNI carry out forensic examinations of the scene.