Pipe bomb found in Strabane

Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

A viable pipe bomb has been found at Townsend Street in Strabane, County Tyrone.

The object was discovered shortly after 1 a.m. this morning in an area known locally as the Back Row and has been taken away for examination.

A number of residents were moved out of their homes duing the alert but they have now returned.

Independent Strabane councillor, Eugene McMenamin, condemned those responsible and urged people in the area to be vigilant.

“It’s difficult to believe that there are misguided people out there intent on maiming or killing someone and the devices that have been left were capable of this.

“What are these people trying to achieve? Residents evacuated from their homes late at night is totally unacceptable, and leaving a device beside the road at the golf club which could have had serious consequences, the disruption caused to many residents trying to go about their normal duties.

“Every person that I have spoken to cannot comprehend the reasoning behind this latest spate of attacks. What are these misguided people trying to achieve? I would ask that anyone with any information to come forward before a local person is seriously maimed or killed.”

Yesterday the town’s PSNI commander said an explosive device found on a golf course in Strabane had the potential to kill.

Chief Inspector Andy Lemon said the viable device - a pipe packed with explosives and nuts and bolts - was an attempt to draw police into the area.

“While police may have been the intended target, golfers, ground staff or members of the community passing by could have been killed or maimed,” he said.

The operation today followed information received by police last night that a device had been left in the Ballycolman Road area.

Chief Inspector Lemon added: “This bears the hallmarks of an attempt to draw police into the area. But this was an attack on the community as much as on the police.”