POLICE FOIL DEADLY MORTAR BOMB ATTACK

Police find two mortar bombs in south Armagh after security alert. Pic Gordon Adair

Police find two mortar bombs in south Armagh after security alert. Pic Gordon Adair

COPS have thwarted a dissident republican mortar bomb attack in south Armagh.

Two mortar-type devices were found during a security alert in the village of Cullyhanna two weeks after the alarm was raised.

The bombs were hidden on the side of the road and were pointed vertically for a planned attack.

But it is believed the devices may failed to detonate during a planned attack on the security forces.

The security alert, involving police with metal detectors, Army bomb squad officers and sniffer dogs is continuing for a possible third larger device concealed in a culvert or hedgerow.

Sinn Féin councillor Colman Burns said police have told local representatives that they have found a “device” which they believe may be viable.

He said: “The police have given us just a very quick update, just to say there is a device there.

“They think it is viable but they don’t want to speculate on what it is at this stage.’

“They are hoping to give us a fuller update but at this point they are not saying what they’ve discovered,” he added.

Up to 11 homes were evacuated on the Sheetrim Road during the alert.

Residents were moved to safety and are now staying with relatives.

Several roads in the area remain closed for the safety of residents.

On Tuesday morning, the Bog Road and Lisleitrim Road were closed to traffic but both were reopened later in the day.

On Tuesday evening, the Sheetrim Road was closed at its junction with the Bog Road and Kiltybane Road.

Newry and Mourne UUP MLA Danny Kennedy praised the security operation but slammed those behind the bomb fined.

“I utterly condemn those responsible for the ongoing security alert in Cullyhanna.”

“Once again the local community has cause to thank the police and Army for their diligent work to protect local people from harm.”

 

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