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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Bomb defused at MP's office
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds
Bomb was the "real thing" said Nigel Dodds
Army bomb experts have defused a bomb which was left outside the north Belfast office of the DUP MP, Nigel Dodds.

Houses on the Shore Road were evacuated shortly after 2300 BST on Wednesday when a caller claiming to represent the dissident republican Continuity IRA said a 100lb bomb had been left at the office.

Police said the bomb was an improvised explosive device, made up of a 25lb gas cylinder with an explosive device attached.

Mr Dodds said it was not just an attack on him, but an attack on democracy.

He said it showed terrorists were still at large and active while negotiations continue to scale down security in the province.

"As a member of Parliament I run my constituency office to serve the entire community.

What it does show is that there are evil people out there who are quite prepared to use force and violence
Nigel Dodds
North Belfast MP
"But here are terrorists who are still able to get their hands on explosive material, still able to plant it and yet we have a process going on of negotiations with terrorists on the part of the government and the pro-Agreement parties which would rob this country of security."

Mr Dodds said he did not know if the attack was timed to coincide with the current deadlock on the Northern Ireland political process.

However, he said: "What it does show is that there are evil people out there who are quite prepared to use force and violence to achieve their political ends.

"This wasn't a hoax, it wasn't some sort of a pretence, this was the real thing, the potential for physical harm and physical damage to property was immense."

Police said the bomb was an improvised explosive device, made up of a 25lb gas cylinder with an explosive device attached.

A police spokeswoman said: "The Army technical officer has made safe an improvised explosive device during an overnight security operation on the Shore Road in north Belfast."




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