Mortar bomb in graveyard: operation ends

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Those who left a mortar bomb in a graveyard in Strabane have been called upon to explain themselves.

The discovery has caused concern and heartache for local people in the area, local representatives have said.

Police this morning confirmed that the scene around Cemetery Road was closed just before 8.30pm last night.

Supt Mark McEwan has reiterated his thanks to the local community for their understanding during the operation and condemned those responsible.

Speaking over the weekend he said: “The blame for the disruption rests with those individuals or groups who appear determined to pursue an agenda of violence or destruction which can only be to the detriment of all our community.”

The cordon had been reduced on Saturday night and evacuated residents allowed back into their homes.

Sinn Fein West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty called upon those who left the mortar bomb device in the vicinity of Strabane Cemetery to explain what they hope to achieve.

He said: “These actions served no purpose other than to cause widespread disruption to the local community, including preventing people from being able to visit the graves of loved ones buried in the cemetery and there is understandable upset and anger at what has happened.”

Mr Doherty added: “In the context of the political realities of 2015 and the recognition of the futility of continued armed actions by the vast majority of republicans, including many who disagree with Sinn Fein politically, there is an onus upon those behind those who left this device to enlighten us as to what they hope to achieve.”

Anyone with information that could assist the police investigation is urged to come forward and call is 101 or contact Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.