Scene in Omagh after dissidents hurl bomb at policeman's home

Scene in Omagh after dissidents hurl bomb at policeman’s home

DISSIDENTS hurled a crude viable explosive device at the home of a PSNI officer.

The home-made device was discovered lose to the home of a serving PSNI officer in the Coolnagard area of Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Officers were conducting a follow-up investigation into an incident in the same area where an off-duty police officer fired a number of shots.

No one was injured in the incident on the Kevlin Road on Friday evening.

Detectives say they want to speak to anyone in the area who noticed anything out of the ordinary between the hours of 8 am m and midnight on Friday as well as over the past number of months.

A PSNI statement said: “Police would ask people, especially in the Coolnagard area of Omagh, if they saw anything that gave them cause for concern or they thought out of the ordinary over the past couple of months and specifically between 8pm and midnight on 25 January to contact police.

“Police are also asking if anyone saw anything that raised their concerns in the Kevlin Road area of Omagh during these times, again to contact Police. Police would like to thank local people for their patience and co-operation during this security alert.”

Information can be passed on by calling 0845 600 8000.

Local politicians have condemned the incident.

Thomas Buchanan of the DUP described it as a worrying time for the PSNI officer, especially as the threat from dissident republican terrorists was severe.

Sinn Féin’s Declan McAleer said: “Coolnagard is a very quiet residential area of the town where people from all sections of the community live side by side and where community relations are very good.

“The investigation is still ongoing so I await further details from the PSNI as to the exact nature of the events which unfolded here on Friday night.”

The Police Federation said the crude bomb had been “thrown” at the officer’s home.

It branded those behind the attack as “cowards”.

A number of homes were evacuated but residents have since been allowed to return.

The Police Ombudsman has been informed about the shots being fired.

It is the second shooting by an off-duty police officer within the past month.

In December, an officer with the PSNI’s Close Protection Unit discharged a firearm during an incident in Bangor, Co Down.

It is believed a round from his Glock pistol struck his flak jacket, causing a minor injury to his rib cage.

He was treated at the scene by paramedicss

The circumstances surrounding that shooting have been shrouded in mystery.

One theory was that the Catholic officer disturbed two men at his home in the Springhill area of Bangor.

Two men, aged 45 and 52, were later arrested but were released on bail 24 hours later pending further

However, two days after they were released, the PSNI announced that they were treating the incident as “attempted murder”.

Security sources said the incident was “bizarre”.

“If it is attempted murder then that should have been for the court decide whether to release them on bail,” said a security source.

“There are many rumours doing the round on this shooting but the real reason behind it is being kept very a tight secret.”




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