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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 09:47 GMT 10:47 UK
Loyalists admit bomb attack
Police cordoned off the area
Police cordoned off the area

A loyalist paramilitary group has said it carried out a bomb attack on the offices of Republican Sinn Fein in west Belfast.

Army bomb experts carried out a controlled explosion on a device in the Beechmount area of the Falls Road on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Red Hand Defenders said it carried out the attack.

In the past, the Red Hand Defenders has been used as a cover name by two other loyalist organisations - the UDA and the LVF.

It is understood the package contained an explosive substance attached to an alarm clock.

A number of other items were taken away for examination.

A member of staff found the package on Monday morning as they arrived to open the office.

Police cordoned off the area and Army bomb disposal experts were called in.

Republican Sinn Fein is the political wing of the Continuity IRA which opposes the Good Friday Agreement.

Last week, a letter bomb partially exploded inside the Ulster Unionist Party's headquarters in east Belfast.

No-one was injured in the incident at Cunningham House on the Holywood Road on Monday.

The package was addressed to party leader David Trimble.

Bomb defused at party office
19 May 03  |  Northern Ireland
Bomb at unionist headquarters
12 May 03  |  Northern Ireland
Bomb defused at MP's office
17 Apr 03  |  Northern Ireland

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