DISSIDENT republicans are being blamed for sending a bomb in the post to a senior PSNI officer.
And Chief Inspector Andy Lemon has heaped praise on hawk-eyed postal staff who undoubtedly foiled a murder bid.
On Friday night, the Police Federation also expressed its gratitude to postal staff.
But it warned all PSNI officers. “We need to be vigilant. Check all mail carefully before opening.”
The alert was raised at a Co Tyrone postal sorting office on Friday morning following the discovery of a suspicious package.
The parcel was addressed to Strabane police boss Chief Inspector Andy Lemon.
On Friday afternoon, Chief Inspector Lemon praised postal staff for intercepting the device.
The Strabane murder bid has also been condemned by First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness.
In a statement, they said: “Violence plays no part in our future. We would appeal to anyone with any information on this to contact the PSNI.”
Chief Inspector Andy Lemon revealed that the device was primed to go off once the parcel was opened.
“Someone did leave this parcel into the sorting office. It was very crude but viable and it could have initiated if opened,” said Chief Inspector Lemon.
“So fair play to staff at the sorting office. I owe them one. They are the stars here, they found this and raised the alarm. They showed great bravery and have to be commended for that,” said Mr Lemon.
Despite the device being addressed to him, the Area Commander dismissed a suggestion that an attempt had been made on his life.
He said that he was treating it as an attack on all police officers.
“I don’t see this as an attack on me personally. I think rather it was an attempt to get something into the police station. I don’t open mail and my concern is that one of the staff at the station could have been injured.
£So rather than an attack on me personally, I see it as an attack on police,” he said.
Six roads around the sorting office were closed while Army technical officers examained the suspicious object.
On Friday afternoon, the ATO declard that the object was a small viable device. The device has now been taken away for further examination.
The security alert in Strabane has now ended and all roads in the area have been re-opened.
Police in Strabane attended the security alert following the discovery of the suspicious package at the postal sorting office in Castle Street.
Castle Street, Castle Place, Market Street, Railway Street, Lower Main Street and John Wesley Street were closed, and diversions put in place, as the item was examined.
All roads have now been re-opened and the security alert is now over.