RINVIGORIRE IL SUPPORTO AL PSNI O CHE TORNI L’ESERCITO
Alcuni esponenti della politica in Irlanda del Nord invocano un potenziamento delle risorse del PSNI o il ritorno dell’esercisto nelle Sei Contee per fronteggiare la minaccia dissidente
Il messaggio è chiaro, la minaccia dissidente inizia veramente a far paura.
Dopo il ritrovamento in South Armagh dell’ordigno imbottito di 600 libre di esplosivo e dopo le recenti manifestazioni di forza dei dissidenti repubblicani, Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP) sprona il governo a prendere “misure urgenti” contro la “minaccia letale posta dai dissidenti”.
“Chiaramente il PSNI non ha le risorse per fare fronte a questa minaccia ed è necessario disporre risorse aggiuntive di polizia, o riportare nuovamente l’esercito qui a South Armagh e in altre parti della provincia, dove questa minaccia dissidente è costantemente in crescita”.
Non risparmia critiche nemmeno all’ex Chief Constable del PSNI Sir Hugh Orde, il quale aveva affermato che i dissidenti non avevano le capacità e le risorse necessarie per portare il terrorismo ai massimi livelli.
“Questo recente ordigno, e gli attacchi precedenti, ci dimostrano che tale valutazione si è profondamente incrinata”.
Danny Kennedy dell’Ulster Unionist Party, raccomanda il ritorno delle truppe nelle Sei Contee. “Sono convinto che il PSNI ora abbia bisogno di risorse aggiuntive e di supporto, e se questo significa il sostegno da parte dell’esercito, sia esso finanziario o con l’invio di truppe, lo sosterrò”.
Ieri sera un portavoce NIO ha dichiarato: “L’Operation Banner in cui l’esercito ha fornito sostegno di routine alla polizia è terminata nel 2007 e non sarà riattivata.”
‘Support PSNI or bring back troops’ (NewsLetter)
An MP has warned that the Army may have to return to Ulster’s streets after a massive dissident republican bomb was defused in south Armagh.
The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson was speaking after it was revealed that the viable device planted outside the village of Forkhill contained around 600lb of home-made explosives.
The discovery has heightened fears that a former IRA unit on the south Armagh border has defected to a dissident republican group operating in the region.
Last month, a police patrol had to withdraw after encountering dissident republican terrorists staging a roadblock in Meigh.
Irish army personnel and police mounted a security operation in the Republic while an Army bomb disposal expert made the device safe on the Carrive Road, outside the village.
The remnants of the bomb, which had a command wire leading to a firing point across the border, were taken away for forensic examination.
Newry and Mourne police commander Chief Inspector Sam Cordner said the bomb was targeted against PSNI officers, but said had it been detonated it would have demolished nearby houses killing the occupants.
He said: “There could have been a devastating outcome to this incident. The actions of terrorist criminals in planting this device in the Forkhill area put local people and police officers at significant risk.
“Their actions were reckless and dangerous in the extreme. Their target may have been the police, but they did not care who they killed or injured.”
The alarm was first raised last Tuesday with a phone call to a local newspaper. Chief Insp Cordner said the location was “very, very vague”, covered a wide geographic area and it was much later when the device was found.
“Police officers were immediately put on the ground, cordoned off the area and moved people from the danger area,” he said.
“Twenty people were evacuated from six homes on Saturday afternoon, some of them were elderly, others families with numerous young children.
“The bombers were reckless, had the device exploded the houses would have been demolished and those inside killed.”
The device, he said, would not deter his officers from providing a service to the people of South Armagh.
“Part of that service will be an investigation into the planting of this device. Anyone who can bring these criminals to justice should contact us,” he said.
“We want to thank the people of Forkhill for their patience and forbearance as we worked to make their area safe for them.”
Lagan Valley MP Mr Donaldson said it was time for the government to take “urgent action” against the “lethal threat posed by dissidents”.
“Clearly the PSNI do not have the resources to do deal with this threat and we either have additional police resources or we have the Army back here in South Armagh and other parts of the Province, where this dissident threat is growing all the time”, Mr Donaldson said.
The Lagan Valley MLA, whose cousin, Constable Samuel Donalsdon became the first RUC officer to be killed by the IRA, near Forkhill in 1970, added: “The previous Chief Constable told us that dissidents lacked the capacity for any serious level of terrorism.
“This latest device, and all those previous attacks, show us that, that assessment was deeply flawed.
“I am relieved that this bomb was defused, and thankfully we have avoided any loss of life. But the dissident republicans who are no doubt behind this, were intent on taking life, just as they did in Omagh and many other attacks since.”
Ulster Unionist Deputy Leader Danny Kennedy said he would support a call for the return of troops to the Province, “if it was recommended”.
“I certainly believe that the PSNI now need additional resources and support, and if that requires support from the army, whether it be financial or troops, then I would support that”, said Mr Kennedy.
Last night a NIO spokesman said: “Operation Banner in which the Army provided routine support to the police ended in 2007 and will not be reactivated.”