Petrol canister and pipe made to look like car bomb in hoax likely carried out by ‘New IRA’

Derry police commander Nigel Goddard has declared Sunday’s security alert an ‘elaborate hoax’ that was likely to have been carried out by the ‘New IRA’.

Chief Superintendent Goddard confirmed one of the main lines of enquiry police are pursuing is that three masked members of the ‘New IRA’ hijacked a delivery driver in Milldale Crescent in Currynierin on Sunday.

The men placed a petrol canister and pipe rigged up to look like a car bomb in the grey-coloured Ford Mondeo and forced the driver at gunpoint to drive it to the Waterside police station.

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“At approximately 10.30pm last night three masked men hijacked a delivery driver in the Currynierin area of the Waterside.

Chief Superintendent Nigel GoddardChief Superintendent Nigel Goddard
Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard

“They placed an object in the back of his car and told him to drive to the Waterside station and abandon the car there which he did.

“That led to a protracted overnight operation in order to make that vehicle safe and keep communities safe.

“It is an elaborate hoax device obviously intended to look like a car bomb. It seems to be a petrol canister with a pipe attached to it,” he said.

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Homes evacuated, road closed, after driver forced at gunpoint to abandon vehicle...
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Dozens of homes were evacuated and a portion of Crescent Link closed to traffic. A primary school was forced to close and access to Altnagelvin Hospital was partly restricted.

Ch/Supt. Goddard said: “It has caused massive chaos this morning. School children have been prevented from going to school. The local hospital has been affected with people trying to go to hospital and a local shopping centre as well.”

He described the action as ‘completely misguided’ and conducted by ‘wrong-headed people’ and said the driver involved had endured a ‘horrific ordeal’.

“This is a gentleman just going about his business faced with a trauma and the intention of those is obviously to cause fear and harm,” he said.

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C/Supt. Goddard said one of the main lines of enquiry is that the ‘New IRA’, are likely to have been behind the attack.

“It is the obvious line of enquiry at the minute. We are in the very early stages of this investigation but that would certainly be our most prominent and likely line of enquiry,” he said.