Chief Inspector Andy Lemon condemns dissident over pipe bomb found in alleyway

Chief Inspector Andy Lemon condemns dissident over pipe bomb found in alleyway

POLICE are blaming dissident republicans for leaving a second viable pipe bomb in a town in the space of 24 hours.

The device was found just after 1 am on Tuesday morning in Strabane’s Townsend Street.

Army technical officers called to the scene later defused the pipe bomb and took it away for forensic examination.

Residents in 30 homes who were evacuated during the alert have now been allowed to return.

On Monday, a pipe, packed with nuts and bolts linked to a command wire, was found attached to a gate at Strabane Golf Club.

Police believe dissidents tried to lure police to the course in a bid to detonate the device when the gate opened.

PSNI Chief Inspector Andy Lemon said: “This device was totally different to the one found yesterday (Monday) which was a much larger device designed to cause casualties.”

“I believe this device was probably abandoned in the area.

“It was left in an alleyway where young people would have been passing through.

“It just shows a total lack of concern for people in the area. Had this not been found, it beggars believe what could have happened.

“I would clearly point to dissident republicans as being responsible for both devices.

“I am disappointed that these things are still going on. It’s ridiculous. It’s not only an attack on the police but also an attack on the community.

“The threat in this area is severe, just like it is in Northern Ireland.

“I believe the device that was found on Monday may have been detonated if the gate it was attached to was opened.”

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