SECOND DAY OF BORDER ‘BEER KEG’ BOMB ALERT

Police in south Armagh following reports a 'beer keg' bomb has been left in Crossmaglen

Police in south Armagh following reports a ‘beer keg’ bomb has been left in Crossmaglen

A security operation has entered a second day after dissident republicans claimed to have left a keg packed with explosives beside a cross-border electricity interconnector.

The focus of the operation is centred on Crossmaglen, south Armagh where the keg was discovered near pylons connecting electricty grids with the Republic.

Police issued a warning on Tuesday to local people not to touch anything suspicious after officers received a coded telephone warning.

A caller claimed that a bomb had been left in the village.

Army technical officers were tasked to the scene and the PSNI’s ‘Indigo 49’ helicopter hovered overhead beaming back live pictures to a command, control and operations centre.

As a result, police have closed the Dundalk Road between Foxfield Road and the border.

A number of homes near the device have been evacuated.

The ATO plans to move in today to examine the device. The aerial search was carried out to see if there were any secondary devices in the area.

Local politicians have condemned the latest dissident attack which comes days after an attempt to blow up Belfast’s Victoria Square shopping centre.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said it was not the first time Northern Ireland’s infrastructure has been targeted by terrorists.

“A previous generation wasted precious lives trying to advance a political goal through such tactics. They failed. This further attempt will also fail.

“I have been in touch with the electricity systems operator. The operator has procedures in place to deal with this event and ensure that power to homes in Northern Ireland is not disrupted.”

The PSNI said it was sorry for any disruption to local residents.

“We will endeavour to make the area safe for the people of south Armagh as quickly as possible but it is anticipated that the alert may continue for some time”.

UUP MLA Danny Kennedy condemned the bombers.

“Those who are trying to kill innocent people with a bomb attack in Belfast and heighten tensions with bomb alerts in other areas offer nothing, but a corrupt ideology.

“They might copy the tactics of the Provisional IRA, but like them, they will still not achieve a united Ireland.”

In September, police recovered a rocket launcher in Forkhill, south Armagh following a two-day security operation.

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