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RUC Superintendent Peter Sheridan:
"This device was meant to kill"
 real 28k

DUP assemblyman Gregory Campbell:
"Dissident republicans are determined to carry out a spectacular before the election"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK
Army defuses NI car bomb
Home-made explosives were packed into the car
Home-made explosives were packed into the car's boot
Army bomb disposal experts have defused a large bomb in a car in the Waterside area of Londonderry.

The red Vauxhall Nova was abandoned on Sunday, on the busy main Derry to Strabane Road, near the junction with Prehen Road in the Waterside area.

The police said the device left in the boot of the car was "sophisticated" and contained about 60lbs of homemade explosives packed into a barrel.

They said they believed the car had been crashed into a lamppost to look like an accident scene, so that officers would be lured towards the bomb.

It could have been triggered by remote control, they added.

Four telephone bomb warning messages were passed to the RUC after the car was abandoned.

'Attempt to kill'

Investigating policemen feared a trap and stayed away from the vehicle, instead calling in the bomb disposal team.

The terrorists showed a total disregard for public safety by leaving such a highly dangerous device at the side of a busy main road where many people pass by

Superintendent Sheridan
RUC Superintendent Peter Sheridan condemned the bombers' actions.

He said: "This was a sophisticated remote control device involving an elaborate plan to lure police officers to a staged road traffic accident with the intent to kill.

"The public should be under no illusion regarding this determined and deliberate attempt to kill police.

"The terrorists showed a total disregard for public safety by leaving such a highly dangerous device at the side of a busy main road where many people pass by as motorists and pedestrians.

Mr Sheridan appealed to the public to ostracise whoever left the bomb.

He said: "This small minority have nothing to offer society but death and destruction."

Dissidents blamed

Dissident republicans opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process have been blamed for leaving the device.

Democratic Unionist Party assembly member Gregory Campbell said: "Some of these republican groups are determined to try to up the ante in security terms.

"They want get a 'spectacular' before the election and innocent people are going to die if they get their spectacular event."

Republican dissidents have carried out a number of recent attacks in the Derry area this year.

In January, up to 15 sleeping army officers, one of them a bomb disposal expert, escaped unhurt when a massive mortar bomb struck an accommodation block at Ebrington Barracks.

It ricocheted off a wall, but did not explode.

In another attack, in the village of Claudy, 10 miles from Derry, dissident republicans tried to lure police officers out through the rear of an RUC station by claiming a bomb had been placed at the front.

No-one was injured after a trip-wire device was found at the back door of the base.

Dungannon alert

Meanwhile, the police have carried out a controlled explosion on a car parked in Dungannon, County Tyrone.

Army bomb disposal experts carried out the explosion after a local shop received reports that a bomb had been left at Newell Road.

About 30 homes were evacuated in the area around Newell Road on Tuesday night while the car was examined.

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See also:

23 Jan 01 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents behind bomb attack
21 Jan 01 | Northern Ireland
Booby-trap bomb found at RUC station
04 Mar 01 | Northern Ireland
Dissident republicans: Terror threat
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