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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 17:38 GMT
Dissident bomb attacks cost 25m
An incendiary device was left at the Homebase store in Belfast
An incendiary device was left at the Homebase store in Belfast
Attacks carried out by dissident republicans have cost more than 25m in just seven months, the Northern Ireland Secretary has revealed.

Peter Hain said the damage was caused to commercial premises across NI.

His comments came as he warned that political failure would play into the hands of those "using criminality and terror" to halt the political process.

He said splinter groups behind a recent spate of attacks would "be hunted down and brought before the courts".

Determined

Mr Hain also condemned the recent gun attack on Keady PSNI station.

He said the government was determined that dissident republicans would not succeed in their aims.

"They have caused damage, estimated to be in excess of 25m, to commercial property across Northern Ireland over the last seven months," he said.

"The financial cost of this destruction will have to be met by Northern Ireland's tax payers through the Compensation Agency.

"The human cost is that workers have been bombed out of their jobs in the run-up to Christmas by people who are opposed to progress."

Mr Hain said politics "must succeed" and a political vacuum could not be allowed to develop.

"What these splinter groups cannot face is a permanent political settlement in Northern Ireland where there is full support for policing across the community," he said.

Firebomb attacks

"The future of Northern Ireland will not be held to ransom by splinter groups who are wedded to an outdated and violent ideology that has no support within Ireland, north or south."

Dissident republicans have been blamed for recent firebomb attacks on a number of stores in Belfast.

The Homebase store on Boucher Road was destroyed in one attack last month, while nearby Smyth's toystore was also targeted.

JJB Sports in Anne Street in the city was badly damaged in a third attack on the same day.

Last month, dissident republicans were blamed for a fire bomb attack on a B&Q store in Coleraine.

The Real IRA was also blamed for a series of incendiary attacks on commercial premises in Newry in August.




SEE ALSO
Dissidents 'behind bomb attacks'
01 Nov 06 |  Northern Ireland
Store arson damage being assessed
08 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland
Council to discuss firebombings
10 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland
Shops damaged in suspected arson
09 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland

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