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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 07:48 GMT 08:48 UK
Police targeted in bomb attack
Two police officers have escaped injury in a bomb attack in County Down.

They were travelling along the Killough Road near Downpatrick at about 0200 BST on Wednesday when their car was hit with an explosive device.

A police spokesperson said the officers were badly shaken but otherwise uninjured.

The Killough Road remains closed off about one mile from Downpatrick while the security operation continues.

South Down MP Eddie McGrady
Eddie McGrady said attack was attempted murder

Army bomb experts are using a robot to examine an area at the side of the road to check for booby-trap devices.

Police have described the incident as a terrorist attack but have not yet said which paramilitary group they believe was responsible.

However, dissident republicans opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process have continued to attack the security forces.

Sinn Fein's Mitchel McLaughlin said he expected that when the details emerged, the attack would be attributed to dissident republicans.

He called on them to desist, saying such attacks were "futile and pointless".

SDLP South Down MP Eddie McGrady said he "totally condemned" the attempted murder of the two police officers.

"This attack on the new Police Service of Northern Ireland is an attack on the entire community," said Mr McGrady, who lives in Downpatrick.

"It is a most serious development, putting in jeopardy the progress towards a peaceful society towards which we are all striving, and also our hopes of creating a new future for our families and children.

"The community must give the police service all possible assistance in order to remove the people who perpetrated this dastardly act."

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BBC NI's Conor MaCauley
"The officers escaped serious injury but were badly shaken"
See also:

13 Apr 02 | N Ireland
17 Dec 00 | N Ireland
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