World, Europe

Officials blame New IRA for trying to kill police

Car belonging to part-time officer, daughter targeted with bomb

Muhammad Mussa   | 20.04.2021
Officials blame New IRA for trying to kill police FILE PHOTO

LONDON

The New Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Northern Ireland on Tuesday is being blamed for attempting to assassinate a part-time police officer and her 3-year-old daughter by planting a bomb under her car, according to police.

"Today we are investigating a sickening attack on a young mother who serves her community both as a member of police staff and a part time police officer,” the Police Services of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said in a statement.

"Yesterday morning, our colleague discovered a suspicious object beside her car. We assessed this was a viable device. What is really distressing here is the terrorists placed the bomb at the rear of the car, directly where the victim’s three-year-old daughter sits.” it said, adding that bomb was safely dismantled.

Police services said the bomb was designed and had the power to “engulf the car with a fireball” and would have killed anyone inside and seriously injured those in the proximity. Although they are in the early stages of the investigation, the PSNI believed it to be the work of the New IRA.

First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Arlene Foster condemned the assassination attempt as a “shameful and vile” attack on the police as well as innocent civilians.

“All right-thinking people will reject those who try to drag us back into violence through such cowardly deeds. People across Northern Ireland will unite in agreement that this barbarity has no place in today’s society and that this dark and sinister agenda is a thing of the past, not our future.” Foster said in a statement. "I wanted to convey our support and utter condemnation of those who sought to harm her & her family. Reckless and futile. We salute her bravery and long service to our community.”

Foster said it is natural to have political disagreements but urged Northern Ireland to see moving forward in its quest for peace and cohesion, reminding the residents that “we will not be dragged back to bombs & bullets."

The bomb threat comes after weeks of intense rioting and community unrest between young protestant unionists and Catholic republicans. The violence has injured several police officers and is the worst in recent years. It has prompted a flurry of diplomatic activity between London, Belfast and Dublin

The main cause of unrest is the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit agreement that was signed by London and Brussels in December. The protocol, however, was triggered last month after the EU required inspections of certain goods entering the Single Market.

The protocol aims to avoid a hard border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland which is a member of the EU but it also erects a trade barrier between the region and Great Britain which unionists say is an affront to their rights and threatens the break-up of its union with the rest of the UK.

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