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Thursday, April 30, 1998 Published at 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK

Car bomb discovered in Northern Ireland
image: [ Three controlled expolisions defused the bomb after police received warnings ]
Three controlled expolisions defused the bomb after police received warnings

A large car bomb has been defused in the Northern Ireland army town of Lisburn in County Antrim.

A police spokesman said the device was discovered in a vehicle in the market place of the town, which is the headquarters of the British Army in the province.

[ image: The car held at large amount of explosives]
The car held at large amount of explosives
Several telephone warnings were received about the bomb. It was made safe after three controlled explosions.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary said the Lisburn car bomb contained between 600 and 700lbs of explosives.

The town's senior police officer congratulated his officers for locating the car so quickly and moving people from the area, which is popular with shoppers and office workers.

No organisation has claimed responsibility but BBC correspondents in the province said suspicion has fallen on breakaway republican paramilitaries.

[ image: The area was cleared once the car bomb was discovered]
The area was cleared once the car bomb was discovered
Just hours before, the Irish Republican Army said it did not intend to hand over its guns and bombs following this month's peace accord.

Car bombers devastated the centre of Moira a few miles from Lisburn earlier this year and three days later caused extensive damage with a further device in Portadown, County Armagh.

The IRA denied responsibility for both attacks but at the time RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan accused elements within the organisation who were dissatisfied with the ceasefire of helping one of the still active republican groups to make and plant the bombs.

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