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Saturday, 13 April, 2002, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Dissidents blamed for bomb attacks
Downpatrick Police Station
Station at Downpatrick was slightly damaged
Dissident republicans are being blamed for two bomb attacks on police stations in County Down.

No-one was was injured in the blasts but police have condemned the acts as reckless and dangerous.

Homes near the stations in Downpatrick and Ardglass were evacuated.

A police source said improvised devices were used in both attacks.

Two explosions

It is believed dissident republicans who have carried out a previous attack on a station in nearby Castlewellan were behind both incidents.

The first attack was at 2250 BST on Friday in Downpatrick, when two explosions were heard.

A hole in the outer fence of the police station was later found.

About 20 minutes later after the first blast, there was another explosion at Ardglass police station, a few miles away.

Eddie McGrady MP SDLP
Eddie McGrady MP: Thankful no-one was killed
Several items were removed for forensic examination.

Chief Inspector Jeffrey Gamble said people living near both stations were put at risk: "This was an attack intending to cause death or injury but very reckless as innocent members of the public were driving or walking past at the time."

He confirmed that a device was thrown during the attack in Downpatrick.

Residents have since returned to their homes.

The MP for South Down, Eddie McGrady, said the a worrying development.

"The purpose of these bombs for the murder and killing people," he said.

"We are very grateful and thankful that no people - residents or young people or police personnel - were killed or injured.

"It is a very disturbing development in this peace process."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Barbara Collins
"Police say 30 homes were evacuated after the blast bomb attacks"
See also:

02 Nov 00 | Northern Ireland
Policeman 'critical' after dissident attack
01 Nov 00 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents 'behind police station blast'
13 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Bomb attack on police station
20 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Dissident threat reviewed at talks
22 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Dissident republicans: Threat to peace
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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