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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Shock at bomb memorial vandalism
Vandalised statue
The statue was erected in the village six years ago
Vandals have damaged a memorial to the victims of the Claudy bombing, removing it from its plinth and leaving it lying on the ground.

Nine people, including three children, died when three IRA car bombs exploded in the village in July 1972.

UUP councillor Mary Hamilton, who was injured in the bombing, has condemned the attack, which is thought to have happened on Friday night.

"I cannot understand what satisfaction anybody could have got," she said.

People hearing about the attack for the first time at church on Sunday were "just horrified at what had happened", she explained.

Claudy bombing
Nine people were killed in the no-warning bomb
"That statue was erected a few years ago in memory of the victims, dead and living, of the Claudy bombing - it's in memory of people from both sides of the religious divide," she added.

SDLP councillor Brenda Stevenson said the incident had caused a lot of distress in the village.

"We have been subjected to vandalism and anti-social behaviour on a Friday night for a long time now, but to destroy that monument that was erected for those that lost loved ones is awful - it's unbelievable," she said.

"When I spoke to some of the families yesterday, there was anger, bewilderment, shock and hurt - they're just devastated."

The sculpture was unveiled in the County Londonderry village in 2000.

It was commissioned because many villagers felt the atrocity had been forgotten, and sculptor Elizabeth McLaughlin said at the time the monument was an attempt to find an "expression of the grief of the individual".

Youngest victim's family speak about the attack

Sinn Fein backs Claudy inquiry
28 Aug 03 |  Northern Ireland
Minister 'knew nothing' of cover-up
23 Dec 02 |  Northern Ireland
Atrocity relatives seek justice
20 Dec 02 |  Northern Ireland
Shedding some light on Claudy's mysteries
23 Dec 02 |  Northern Ireland
Memorial marks 'forgotten' atrocity
20 Aug 00 |  Northern Ireland

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