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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 21:05 GMT
Army defuse bomb in hotel grounds
Army bomb experts carried out controlled explosions
Army bomb experts carried out controlled explosions
The Army has defused a car bomb in the grounds of an Armagh hotel.

The device, made up of gas cylinders, was left in a vehicle outside the Armagh City Hotel on the Friary Road.

The car had been stolen from a pensioner on Tuesday. SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said it was likely dissident republicans were behind the bomb.

PSNI Supterintendent Bob Moore said the perpetrators "wanted to terrorise" others with their "repugnant activity and redundant mindset".

"The motive for this incident defies logic and rational understanding," he said.

"All that has been achieved as a result of the incident at the City Hotel is widespread disruption, worry and upset to the wider community residing, working, visiting or travelling through Armagh.

"It creates a negative impact and undoes all the good work that has and is being done by council, community leaders and the business fraternity to attract employment and tourism to the area. "

'Despicable incident'

Mr Moore said that two cars and a shotgun had been stolen from a house in the Ballyrath area of Armagh before 2300 GMT on Tuesday, by men describing themselves as republicans.

He said an elderly woman in the house suffered shock as a result of what he said was a "despicable" incident.

A vehicle, thought to be one of the stolen cars, was later found on fire.

A Vauxhall Vectra car was found abandoned in the car park of the Armagh City Hotel on Wednesday morning following a telephone call.

A number of controlled explosions were carried out on the vehicle and police said a "viable device" had been found in the back.

Mr Moore urged anyone with information about the incident to contact police.

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