Sunday, August 16, 1998 Published at 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Omagh bombing kills 28
The bomb exploded on a busy summer's day
Thirteen women - one of whom was pregnant - and six men died, the authorities have said. About 220 people were injured or maimed.
Fifty-three people remain unaccounted for but this is understood to include 20 of the dead who have still to be formally identified.
The attack in Co Tyrone - the worst since violence began in Northern Ireland 30 years ago - brought condemnation from all of the province's political leaders.
'An appalling act of savagery and evil' - Blair
Martin McGuinness, the party's chief negotiator, gave his own statement of contempt for the perpetrators.
"This appalling act was carried out by those opposed to the peace process," he said.
He pledged to catch the bombers and said: "These people will not win."
Northern Ireland's First Minister, Ulster Unionist David Trimble, insisted the IRA and Sinn Fein were in part responsible for the death toll.
"Make no mistake about it, this bomb would not have been made or been detonated if Sinn Fein-IRA had handed over its explosives and weapons," he said.
Suspicion falls on 'Real IRA'
No group has claimed responsibility for the bomb, which was planted in a maroon Vauxhall Astra.
"It is possible and probable that they carried out this attack."
The Northern Ireland Secretary, Mo Mowlam, is flying back from Greece, where she had been on holiday, to visit Omagh.
Scenes of utter carnage
The bomb went off while police were clearing an area near the local courthouse after receiving a telephone tip off.
The warning was unclear and people were being directed towards the device when it went off shortly after 1500 BST (1400 GMT).
Publican Nigel O'Kane said: "It was totally indiscriminate. Police were pushing everyone towards the bottom end of the town not knowing the bomb was there.
"It went off outside one of the busiest shops in the town flattening it and the one beside it."
The blast came on the final day of the town's week-long annual carnival.
A trail of blood leading up the steps of Tyrone County Hospital illustrated the destruction.
Catholic priest Father John Ryder was almost lost for words. He said the scene inside the hospital was "chaotic" but staff were doing marvellous work.
Paul McCormick, of Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, said: "The injuries are horrific, from amputees, to severe head injuries to serious burns, and among them are women and children."
"A lot of staff have come in from off-duty and a lot of staff from the community have come to help us," she added.
A number of people responded to their appeal for blood and were liasing with the laboratory.
The RUC has set up a casualty bureau to deal with inquiries from the public. The number is 01232 673371.
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