Page last updated at 19:07 GMT, Sunday, 7 March 2010

Newry dissident courthouse bomb link car removed

No-one was injured in the 250lb car bomb attack on the courthouse
No-one was injured in the 250lb car bomb attack on the courthouse

A vehicle possibly linked to the Newry courthouse car bomb was left for two days and then removed before it could be examined, police have said.

Officers received a report of a vehicle on fire in Drumintee, south Armagh, 20 minutes after the bomb exploded. Two days later it had been removed.

Police said there were concerns that it may have been a lure to attack police and that it had since been recovered.

They said they were unable to respond as quickly "as they would have wished".

"The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is committed to investigating the courthouse bomb attack but it has an over-riding responsibility to protect and preserve life," the police said in a statement.

"This applies as much to police officers and staff as to everyone else in the community."

UUP assembly member Danny Kennedy said he welcomed the updated police statement but said it showed a "degree of confusion on behalf of the PSNI".

He said the matter highlighted "the concern about police resources in the south Armagh area".

A car bomb weighing up to 250lbs exploded outside the court on 22 February. No-one was killed or injured in the blast, which was heard two miles away.

Dissident republicans were blamed for the attack.

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