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BBC NI's Maggie Swarbrick:
Locals said they did not hear anything during the night
 real 28k

Thursday, 25 May, 2000, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Fence traps watchtower bomb
Army believe attack on post was launched from van
Army believe attack on post was launched from van
Security forces in Northern Ireland believe a bomb attack on a border watchtower was carried out by dissident republicans opposed to the peace process.

British Army bomb experts have been studying photographs of what is thought to be a mortar bomb lodged in the perimeter fence of the military observation post.

A van, apparently with its roof cut off, was also found abandoned about 600 feet from the observation post.

It is located at the village of Glassdrumman in the staunchly republican area of south Armagh.

Soldiers manning the security installation at near Crossmaglen, reported hearing an explosion shortly after 2300 BST on Wednesday.

There have been were no reports of any injuries.

Earlier on Thursday, the Royal Ulster Constabulary set up security checkpoints and a spotter plane circled the area.

'Attempt to heighten tension'

Ulster Unionist assembly member for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy said he believed the explosion was designed to damage the peace process.

"Attacks of this nature are deliberately designed to heighten tension at this politically sensitive time.

"I would call for restraint and for the local community to support the security forces in combating incidents of this nature," he said.

However, residents of the village told the BBC they did not hear anything during the night except thunder during the early part of the evening.

They also expressed annoyance that the routine of the village had been disrupted with the closure of roads.

The security forces sealed off the main route to the Irish Republic town of Dundalk, preventing many people from getting to work and school.

Later, in Belfast, Sinn Fein negotiator and assemblyman Gerry Kelly said those responsible for the explosion were intent on wrecking the Good Friday Agreement and should stop such attacks.

"If there was a mortar attack or a bomb it is obvious from that side that there is an attempt to wreck the Good Friday Agreement.

"It is a very serious situation and I hope the people involved in that will desist."

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25 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Real IRA bomb materials found
06 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
Explosion at army camp
01 Mar 00 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents claim army attack
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