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EDITIONS
Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
Police question blast suspects
A security operation at the TA base
The area was cordoned off after the explosion
Five people are still being questioned about the murder of a civilian contractor at a Territorial Army base in Londonderry.

David Caldwell, 51, died when he picked up a booby-trap device in a portable building inside the base on the Limavady Road on Thursday.

Two men were arrested on Friday in connection with the attack following the arrest of two men and a woman on Thursday after the police carried out searches in Derry and Strabane.

Dissident republicans have been blamed for the killing.

David Caldwell: Man killled in blast
David Caldwell: Former UDR soldier killed in blast

The father-of-four is thought to have picked up a device concealed in a lunchbox, which then exploded.

Security sources told the BBC they believed the Real IRA were behind the attack.

Reverend James Gray of Gortnessy Presbyterian Church said the murder had been "totally traumatic" for the family "especially as David had been in the UDR for some years".

"He felt that in the circumstances of the present time there was very little threat, or very little danger, even though he was working in the TA base," the minister added.

Mr Caldwell's funeral will take place on Sunday at Gortnessy Presbyterian Church.

An Army spokesman described the blast as "an outrage, a despicable cowardly attack on an innocent civilian and should be condemned by all law-abiding people".

The dead man's partner said the family was devastated at his death.

Mavis McFaul said she could not understand why her partner was targeted. She appealed for no retaliation.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kinkaid said the base was chosen because it was a soft target.

Secretary of State John Reid
John Reid: Condemned those responsible

Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid he could not "promise the people of Northern Ireland that these people, in their brutal and cowardly fanaticism, will not attempt to or ever get through again".

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster on Friday, he said: "I can promise them I will do everything possible, and so will the police service and the security services."

Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble and Deputy First Minister Mark Durkan both condemned the attack.

"Those who placed this device have nothing positive to offer the people of Northern Ireland," the said in a joint statement.

Democratic Unionist East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said the prime minister could no longer argue the peace process was working.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said the killing was "absolutely and totally wrong".

A bomb attack in February at Magilligan Army base, County Londonderry, left a civilian worker critically injured.

At the time, police said they believed dissident republicans, opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process, were responsible.

Dissidents have also been blamed for attacks on nearby Army bases at Ballykelly and Ebrington.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Julian Fowler:
"Dissident republicans are being blamed for the killing"
Northern Ireland Secretary Dr John Reid
"This was a brutal and cowardly murder"
See also:

01 Aug 02 | N Ireland
08 Feb 02 | N Ireland
08 Feb 02 | N Ireland
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