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zaterdag, april 28, 2012

N. Ireland police find unexploded bomb

  • The abandoned van contained two large barrels of homemade explosives and a detonator
  • The device was "was ready to go" and would have caused wide devastation, police say
  • Police: "Anyone within 50 meters of this device would have been killed"
  • It was left near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- An abandoned van containing a device with 600 pounds of explosives was found in Newry, Northern Ireland, near the border with the Republic of Ireland, police said Saturday.

The device, believed to be linked to dissident IRA groups opposed to the peace process, was "fully primed and ready for use," police said.

The bomb, found late Thursday, was one of the biggest found in Northern Ireland, police said.

It could have caused "death and massive destruction" had it gone off, Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson told reporters in Ardmore. The explosives were safely secured by Friday night.

"The device contained two blue barrels with 125kg of homemade explosives in each one, and a detonator -- all the equipment which meant this device was ready to go," he said.

"This was a very significant device -- twice the size of the bomb which was left at Newry Courthouse two years ago. If this had exploded it would have caused devastation.

"To put it in perspective, anyone within 50 meters of this device would have been killed and anyone within 100 meters, seriously injured."

The road leading to the border was closed within minutes after officers spotted the suspicious vehicle, he said.

Robinson said it was too early to speculate on the intended target of the bomb.

Asked about the threat from dissident groups, he said this was the third attempted attack in the Newry area over the past few weeks, but that all three had been dealt with.

Journalist Peter Taggart contributed to this report.


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