A close up of the deadly mortar style booby trap device used in plot to murder police

DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team are hunting a suspect over mortar-style booby trap bomb plot to murder police.

And they want the public’s help in tracin material used in the bomb plot along with information about premises that may have been used to construct the bomb.

Police believe dissident republicans tried to lure officers into the Tullygally Road are of Craigavon on Friday night after reports of a loud bang was heard.

One theory under investigation is that the mortar was designed to go off if handled by a police patrol who came to investigate.

Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell of the TIU said: “At around midnight on Friday night police received a report from a member of the public that a loud bang or explosion had been heard in the area of Tullygally Road.

“A short time later a Belfast based newspaper reported receiving a call claiming a mortar had been fired at police in the same area.

“I believe the incident was staged in order to lure police into the area where a booby-trap device was placed and designed to explode if moved or touched.  This was clearly designed to kill anyone who lifted or moved the device.

“I have two specific appeals I want to make in relation to this incident.

“Firstly I want to make an appeal about the device.  This device was manufactured somewhere, the metal tube that was designed to look like a mortar had to be made by someone.

“The concrete block, in which the explosive device was contained, was manufactured by someone.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about activity in an outbuilding or garage in recent days or weeks that may seem out of the ordinary to get in touch with detectives.

“This device had to be transported to the area where it was planted and I am appealing for anyone who saw any unusual activity or vehicles acting suspiciously in the area of Tullygally Road on Friday night or in recent days or weeks to get in touch.

“My second appeal is in relation to a suspicious person seen running away from the in the area of the bus stop at around 11.45pm on Friday night.

“They are described as being between 5’6” and 5’9” tall, of slim or medium build and believed to be aged in their late teens or early 20s.

“They were described as wearing a light grey or beige long sleeved hooded top with the hood up and their face covered.

“They are reported to have made their way from the bus stop into open ground that borders the Tullygally Road, Aldervale flats and Drumglass Estate in an area known locally as the Black Path.

“I would appeal to anyone who saw this individual in the area or in the wider Craigavon area on Friday night or early Saturday morning to please contact my detectives.

“I ask that anyone who may be able to help our investigation and identify those responsible to call Police on 101 and ask to speak to detectives in the Terrorism Investigation Unit in Castlereagh or if you would prefer information can be given anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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