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Tuesday, March 23, 1999 Published at 16:50 GMT


Loyalist dissidents claim blast

Castlewellan is 35 miles (55km) south of Belfast

A dissident loyalist group has claimed responsibility for an explosion in Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

One man was injured in the blast in Castlewellan, County Down.

The Orange Volunteers, a dissident loyalist group which sprung up in the wake of last year's Good Friday agreement, claimed responsibility for the blast in a call to a Belfast radio station.

But the Royal Ulster Constabulary has not yet confirmed the explosion was caused by a bomb.

A spokesman said a man suffered cuts and bruises in the explosion at a scrapyard in Station Road, Castlewellan.

His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Army bomb disposal experts are on the scene.

The man is believed to have been driving along when the explosion occurred.

The scene of the explosion is only a few miles from Loughinisland, where the Orange Volunteers claimed responsibility for a bomb blast in January.

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