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Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 06:38 GMT
Dissidents blamed for RUC attack
The back of the police car was damaged
The back of the police car was damaged
Dissident republican paramilitaries were behind an attack on a police car in County Tyrone, according to a senior member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

No-one was injured in the explosion in Cookstown on Sunday night, but the vehicle was damaged.

A police patrol said an object exploded at the rear of their car in the Drum Road area of the town, close to two hotels.

The cause of the explosion has yet to be established.

RUC superintendent Victor Hutchinson said a lot of people were in the area of the blast
RUC superintendent Victor Hutchinson said a lot of people were in the area of the blast

RUC superintendent Victor Hutchinson said the attack could have caused death or serious injury.

"At this point in time, everything would point to this attack being carried out by the dissident republican movement," he said.

"This is a very busy road. At that time of the night we had a large number of young people going to functions in the two hotels.

"We had a lot of people driving between Cookstown and Omagh, so not only were my officers at risk, but also a large number of young people who were attending these functions.

"Their lives were put very much at risk as well."

Homes damaged

Republican dissidents were blamed for a bomb attack on a police station in nearby Stewartstown last July.

A 250lb car bomb went off outside the station hours before a controversial Orange Order march at Drumcree, just 15 miles away.

No-one was injured in the blast which damaged the RUC station, businesses and scores of homes.

The dissidents are opposed to the Good Friday Agreement and the Northern Ireland peace process.

Suspect device

Meanwhile, an examination of the scene of a security alert in Armagh is continuing.

On Monday army technical experts examined a suspect device found on the Monaghan Road near Armagh earlier on Monday.

The area around Brootally Cross has been cordoned off since Saturday.

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10 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Clear up operation after 'dissident' blast
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