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Northern Ireland police say Strabane bomb attack an ‘attempt to kill officers’

Three PSNI officers escaped injury in March 21 IED bomb attack in Townsend Street, Strabane

UPDATE The PSNI said on March 24 that the device was “what can only be described as a roadside bomb with a command wire attached.” A 20-year-old man was arrested in Newtownstewart in connection with the attack.


The Police Service of Northern Ireland said a device exploded while police were on patrol in the Townsend Street area of Strabane shortly after 8:30pm on March 21.

It said the blast was an attempt to kill police officers.

Chief Inspector Ivor Morton said it was “incredible” that no-one had been killed, the Irish News reported.

“It was a deliberate targeted attack on police officers,” he said.

Detectives said it was too early to attribute blame, the Belfast Newsletter reported, but investigations are likely to focus on dissident Irish republicans opposed to the peace process.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland Chairman Mark Lindsay said: “The people who detonated an IED near a Police patrol have nothing to offer.”

“Last night, our Officers escaped unhurt in a clear attempt to murder and maim,” Lindsay added.

Northern Ireland Secretary Of State James Brokenshire said: “Those who planted this explosive device intended to kill or cause serious injury. Their actions put all of our community in harm’s way and their murderous intent is not reflective of wider society’s desire for peace.”

On February 27, the Irish republican paramilitary group known as the New IRA claimed responsibility for a bomb that exploded in the driveway of a PSNI officer’s home on February 23 after falling from his vehicle the previous day.

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