Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 14:20 UK

RIRA claim three Derry attacks

Kylemore Park
Residents were asked to leave their homes in Kylemore Park

The dissident republican Real IRA have admitted three overnight attacks in Londonderry.

The relatives of a serving Catholic police officer were the target of two bombs left outside their homes.

The first device exploded outside his parents' home in Shantallow, while a pipe bomb was examined outside his sister's home in Kylemore Park.

In a statement, the group also claimed responsibility for shooting a man in his legs and hand at about 0130 BST.

A number of masked men forced their way into his house at Drumard Park in Ballymagroarty.

The man was taken to hospital where his condition is said to be stable.

There have been six paramilitary-style shootings in Derry in the past four weeks.

Device

Several people were asked to leave their homes in Kylemore Park when a device was spotted at about 0730 BST.

A controlled explosion was carried out on what police described as "a viable pipe bomb-type device". It was taken away for further examination, and local residents have since been allowed to return home.

In the Shantallow explosion, a car was damaged but no-one was injured.

scene
What's it going to do to other families that have sons and daughters involved in the police?

Chief Superintendent Steven Martin said the devices planted were "capable of taking life".

"They are trying to intimidate Catholic officers and their families from taking the brave step of joining the police and trying to move society forward."

"That's what terrorist criminals are about, they seek to cause harm and destruction," he said.

"I can assure you that the police officer in question, who I've spoken to today, is committed to policing and will be out doing his duty very quickly."

"His bravery contrasts starkly to the cowardly actions of those last night who put these devices in ordinary streets in the Cityside of this city," he added.

Northern Ireland Security Minister Paul Goggins said those responsible were "beyond contempt".

"No-one should be under any illusion of the motives behind those who, under the cover of darkness, leave devices outside family homes," he said.

"They are a threat to the local community, they want to inflict pain and suffering on the people living in that community and do not care who they kill or injure."

'Solidarity'

Sinn Fein assembly member Raymond McCartney urged the community to show solidarity with the family.

"While most people are working to build a peaceful future it would seem that a minuscule and unrepresentative group think that by carrying out cowardly actions based on spurious excuses, they will frustrate continued progress," he said.

"They will not succeed and should stop their activity before it leads to the killing of more innocent people."

SDLP leader and Foyle MP Mark Durkan, described the attacks as "cowardly".

"These are sinister attempts not only to unnerve a young officer and his family but to intimidate the entire community," he said.

"The policing service which we now have has been mandated by the Irish people, north and south, in the Good Friday Agreement.

"Those who serve in its ranks are carrying out a patriotic duty which has the endorsement of the overwhelming number of citizens in Derry and the country."



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