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Sunday, May 10, 1998 Published at 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK




'True' IRA claims responsibility for blast
image: [ Residents and guests at a wedding reception were evacuated ]
Residents and guests at a wedding reception were evacuated

A dissident republican grouping calling itself the "true IRA" has claimed responsibility for an attempted mortar bomb attack on a police station in a Northern Ireland border town on Saturday night.


The BBC's Peter Hunt says the security forces are worried the group responsible could pose a threat to the peace process (38")
Police said the shell exploded near the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in Belleek, County Fermanagh, as they were evacuating the area after several mortar launchers were found nearby.

The Northern Ireland Secretary, Mo Mowlam, condemned the attack as "the work of desperate people, who have nothing to offer."

The group claimed responsibility for the attack in a coded telephone call to Belfast media.


[ image: Security forces spent much of the day at the scene]
Security forces spent much of the day at the scene
The attack came hours after the splinter group announced its existence and said it was independently calling off a 10-month IRA ceasefire.

It said it was now the "real" Irish Republican Army and accused the "old leadership" of betraying the republican cause.

Sinn Fein voted overwhelmingly to approve the Northern Ireland peace deal when members met for a conference on Sunday.

The peace deal is due to be put to a referendum on May 22.

At the Sinn Fein assembly, IRA prisoners released under exceptional circumstances to attend, told party members they supported President Gerry Adams in his call for a 'Yes' vote by republicans.






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