Bomb squad officers had been called to examine scene in south Armagh

Bomb squad officers had been called to examine scene in south Armagh

POLICE and Army Technical Officers have now finished examining the scene of an explosion that caused serious injuries to a man in south Armagh yesterday.

The man was caught in the explosion as he tried to remove a poster from a lamppost outside Crossmaglen.

Police believe a booby trap device may been attached to the lamp post and as the man removed the poster it detonated the bomb.

Local Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy, described it as attempted murder and blamed the attack on dissident republicans.

Police had cordoned off the scene of the blast and closed a number of roads as a precaution.

The Blaney Road, which had been closed from the junction of Loughross Road to the Irish border and a 200 metre  stretch of Corliss Road, from its junction with the Blaney Road, have now been re-opened.

Insp Lorraine Dobson said: “Police are working to deal with the risk to the public whilst minimising disruption where possible and are grateful for the continued co-operation of the public.”

The injured man was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where doctors are battling to save one of his eyes.

“There have been a series of posters put up in the area alleging different people were informers attacking various people in the community – they were systematically removed by neighbours in the area and that’s what leads me to believe it was attempted murder,” said Mr Murphy.

“This one (the poster) with the knowledge that it would be removed, was put up close to this man’s home and was booby trapped.

“When he went to remove it, it exploded and caused him serious injuries to his face and chest.”

Mr Murphy branded those behind this attack and a campaign of intimidation as “criminals masquerading as republicans.”

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