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Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Bomb defused in Tyrone
Police put the contents of the bomb on display
Police put the contents of the bomb on display
Security forces in Northern Ireland are linking dissident republican paramilitaries to the discovery of a primed bomb in County Tyrone.

The bomb, containing 350lbs of home-made explosives in a creamery can, was defused on Wednesday morning.

It was discovered in a stone shed connected to a house in Glenaness Road near Sixmilecross at about 2000 BST on Tuesday.

The shed had been used as a workshop with drilling and light engineering equipment.


It is a very worrying development at this time when virtually everyone is expecting movement on decommissioning

Joe Byrne SDLP

Dissident republicans opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process and Good Friday Agreement have been responsible for a number of attacks in Northern Ireland and in Britain recently.

Two men and two women have been arrested in security operations in Tyrone and Fermanagh.

RUC Superintendent James Baxter said lives had been saved by the discovery.

"A bomb of this size could have caused any amount of death and destruction," he said.

"The people of Omagh do not need any reminder of the devastation and destruction which a bomb can cause.

"I have no doubt with the recovery of this bomb, we have saved lives, if not in Omagh, in some other town or area."

The security forces also found what they believed to be more terrorist equipment near Sixmilecross when they resumed a search of the area on Wednesday.

The area was cordoned off, as bomb experts carried out a further examination of the scene.

Pat Doherty:
Pat Doherty: "Politics can deliver change"

The police said a number of searches, linked to the bomb find, were carried out at Newtownbutler and Rosslea in County Fermanagh.

The West Tyrone MP, Pat Doherty of Sinn Fein, said it was "incumbent on all political leaders to make it clear that politics could work and deliver change".

Prevented

Meanwhile, West Tyrone SDLP assembly member Joe Byrne said he was shocked by the find.

He said: "It is a very worrying development at this time when virtually everyone is expecting movement on decommissioning."

Ulster Unionist councillor Bert Wilson praised the security forces for intercepting the bomb.

He said it showed the necessity of "all terrorist weapons and explosives being destroyed".

"By their vigilance they could have prevented another disaster like Omagh," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Mervyn Jess reports
"Four other security operations were linked to the bomb find"
See also:

03 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Dissident threat 'real and growing'
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