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Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Mortar bomb found in van
The mortar device is usually packed into a cylinder
The mortar device is usually packed into a cylinder
The security forces believe they have discovered a so-called barrack buster mortar bomb in County Tyrone.

Army technical officers are examining a suspect van at the entrance of Altmore Forest, off the Reclain Road at Galbally, between Dungannon and Carrickmore.

The device is being linked to dissident republican paramilitaries.

A barrack buster bomb is made up of a large amount of explosives, usually packed into a large gas cylinder. It is intended to detonate on impact.

The security operation at the scene is expected to continue for some time.

Chief Superintendent David Pickering said the operation to make the device safe would be slow and painstaking.

Speaking on Thursday, he said: "Here is a time when the country is trying to get economically fit again and recover.

"And it is just very disappointing to think that people at the same time are involved in putting together devices to cause disruption and destruction."

Miles from border

In February, a similar device was found in remote woodland in the Republic of Ireland.

Gardai discovered the mark-15 type mortar near Newtowncunningham during a search of an area several miles from the border.

The device did not contain any explosives.

A similar device was used in an attack on Ebrington army base in Londonderry in January.

The attack on the base was blamed on dissident republicans.

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

Last November, the security forces intercepted another so-called barrack buster when a van was stopped at Derrylin, in County Fermanagh.

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See also:

13 Feb 01 | Northern Ireland
Search continues after mortar find
06 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
Explosion at army camp
06 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
Bombing blamed on dissidents
17 Jan 01 | Northern Ireland
Bomb 'largest found' in recent years
12 Nov 00 | Northern Ireland
Police intercept mortar device
23 Jan 01 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents behind bomb attack
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