Bomb defused and three arrested during operation against republicans

A bomb has been defused and three men arrested following a security alert in Strabane.

Sunday, 29th April 2018, 6:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th April 2018, 6:46 pm

The alert in Drumrallagh Estate, Strabane has now ended.

Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: “Police carried out searches at three houses in Strabane today as part of our response to violent dissident republican activity.

"At a house in Drumrallagh Estate, a viable explosive device was found, which resulted in the evacuation of ten nearby houses, causing disruption to the local community.

"ATO attended the scene to make the device safe and it has been taken away for further examination.

"Three men aged 43, 45 & 47 were arrested at the scene under the Terrorism Act and have been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning.”

Superintendent McCalmont described whoever was responsible as reckless.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the local residents for their patience this afternoon whilst this operation was ongoing.

"It is beyond belief that terrorists have stored a bomb in the heart of one of our communities.

"Fortunately this device was found and made safe before it could cause any harm, however, it clearly shows the intent of those individuals to kill or seriously injure.

"They have absolutely no regard for the safety of local residents in the Drumrallagh area.

"People involved in hiding bombs want to cause harm, they don’t care who gets killed or injured, and their desire to pursue violence and create more victims, has to be challenged.”

“The items that have been recovered were going to be used to inflict harm on our community.

"The people involved don’t care who is a victim - a child, a mother a father, a sister, brother, granny or granddad.

"If you have any information about this incident, please play your part in making our communities safer, and share what you know. You can do this anonymously by ringing Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or you can contact police on 101."