RealNews

Van Bomb Defused Outside Belfast Court

The British army on Thursday defused a bomb left in van parked outside Belfast’s main courthouse. The Real IRA, a dissident Irish Republican Army faction, claimed responsibility for the incident. The thwarted attack was timed to coincide with meetings in Washington between President Bush and many of Northern Ireland’s senior politicians, the group said. Police said three men commandeered the van at gunpoint in a Catholic part of north Belfast, loaded it with three pipe bombs attached to about 12.5 gallons of gasoline, and forced the van’s owner to drive to the courthouse. “The cowardly and indiscriminate way in which the act was carried out, by forcing the van owner to drive the device to its intended target, was despicable,” said Jane Kennedy, the British government minister responsible for security in Northern Ireland. The Real IRA and another dissident group, the Continuity IRA, both have tried several times in the past year to detonate bombs in downtown Belfast. Each time, the bombs either failed to detonate fully or were defused by the army. Full Story

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