ATTENTATO A NEWRY, UN BOTTO DA 250 LIBRE

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Un’autobomba concepita per uccidere quella esplosa a Newry alle 22.37 del 22 febbraio

E’ realmente un miracolo che l’esplosione della Mazda blu piazzata davanti all’ingresso della Courthouse di Newry, non abbia seminato sulla strada morti e feriti.
Era di 250 libre il quantitativo di esplosivo di cui è stato imbottito il veicolo, deflagrato alle 22.37 del 22 febbraio.
L’esplosione ha fatto seguito a 2 allerte giunte telefonicamente alle 22.20 presso un ospedale locale e alle 22.22 presso un esercizio commerciale. La polizia aveva da pochi istanti abbandonato l’area dove era accorsa per provvedere all’evacuazione.
Ingenti i danni ai cancelli della Courthouse, nonchè alle finestre anche degli edifici circostanti.
L’esplosione è stata avvertita fino a 2 miglia di distanza.
Il centro di Newry è tutt’ora isolato per consentire l’espletamento di tutte le indagini del caso. Trevor Hill, Sandy Street, New Street e Road Belfast resteranno probabilmente sbarrate fino a martedì.
E’ stato necessario questo attentato a portare Matt Baggott a comparire in pubblico per adempiere alle sua funzione di Chief Constable della PSNI.
“Non c’è scusa per portare le bombe sulle nostre strade”.
“E ‘stato chiaramente sconsiderato nella migliore delle ipotesi e insensibile nelle peggiori”, ha dichiarato Baggott.
“Ma, in aggiunta a questo, il tempo concesso è stato fortemente limitato.”
Danny Kennedy, membro dell’Ulster Unionist Voice, alza la voce proprio contro le forze di polizia di alto livello e il suo maggior rappresentate, Matt Baggott. L’accusa è di aver adottato un comportamento compiacente nei confronti dei dissidenti repubblicani.
Immediata la risposta del Chief Constable che ha ricordato l’arresto di 130 persone negli ultimi 15 mesi, nell’ambito delle attività di polizia volta ad arginare la crescente minaccia dissidente.
Unanime la condanna dei leaders di governo nordirlandese, i quali hanno ribadito il fatto che niente e nessuno potrà incrinare il processo di pace attualmente in corso in Irlanda del Nord.
Concetto ribadito anche dal primo ministro inglese Gordon Brown, che per bocca del suo portavoce ha dichiarato: “I politici nordirlandesi hanno lavorato molto duramente per fornire una conclusione positiva del processo di pace e non permetteranno ad una piccola minoranza di riportare indietro le lancette dell’orologio”, ha detto il suo portavoce.
Dagli Stati Uniti sono giunte le reazione del proprio Segretario di Stato Hillary Clinton che ha insistito sul fatto che il processo di pace resta saldo.”Condanno fermamente l’attentato di ieri sera, è stato un altro vile atto di violenza di coloro che preferiscono le bombe alla possibilità di voto e partecipazione al processo politico”, ha detto.
“I partiti in Irlanda del Nord hanno condannato l’azione allo stesso modo, con la massima fermezza e chiedo che tutti continuino a lavorare per vedere la devolution delle autorità e di un futuro migliore per l’Irlanda del Nord.”

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250lb bomb in Newry blast (U TV)
Police say it is a “miracle” no-one was injured or killed in the car bomb explosion outside Newry courthouse in Co Down, which happened as officers were still evacuating the area.
Dissident republicans have been blamed for the 250lb bomb which went off at 10.37pm on Monday night, as officers were still evacuating the area.
“It is only by sheer miracle that nobody was killed or injured,” PSNI area commander Chief Inspector Sam Cordiner said.
PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott said there was “absolutely no excuse for bringing bombs onto our streets.”
“It was clearly reckless at the best and callous at the worst,” he said.
“But added to that, the timing given was severely limited.”
Coded warnings were phoned in to a local hospital at 10.20pm and a local business at 10.22pm giving officers 17 minutes to clear the area before the bomb exploded.
The blue Mazda vehicle, which was abandoned after being reversed against the gates of the court carried registration plates from Co Monaghan.
The gates of the heavily fortified building were badly damaged and people for miles around say they clearly heard the blast and windows were shaken.
Newry city centre remains sealed off as police forensic experts continue to investigate.
Road closures are causing chaos on what is the main commuter route between Belfast and Dublin.
Trevor Hill, Sandy Street, New Street and the Belfast Road are among those expected to remain closed for at least the rest of Tuesday.
‘Threat’
Mr Baggott rejected Ulster Unionist accusations that police were under-estimating the threat presented by dissident groups.
Calling for a strong security response, the UUP deputy leader, Danny Kennedy, said:
“I and my party have been concerned for some time that the threats posed by republican dissidents have been viewed with a certain amount of complacency by the chief constable and his senior command.”
Mr Baggott said police had arrested 130 people for dissident activity over the last 15 months.
“This is not an attack on a court building, this is an attack on people whose lives depend on the wellbeing of Newry.”
The Stormont Assembly opened its proceedings on Tuesday with cross-party condemnation of the attack, which comes just days after a mortar bomb failed to detonate outside a police station in nearby Keady village.
“The people who carried out this attack are determined to destroy all that has been achieved in recent months,” said First Minister Peter Robinson.
“Their sole aim is to return Northern Ireland to its darkest past.
“They will not succeed, for I am equally determined that we will continue to move forward and to protect and defend the very same institutions they seek to destroy.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “I am determined that last night’s attack will not undermine the progress we have made.
“The perpetrators are acting against the democratically expressed wishes of all of the people of Ireland. They have nothing to offer our society.
“We will continue on the road we have set out upon to deliver a better future.
“Attacks such as this are futile and serve only to strengthen our resolve.”
Gordon Brown also strongly condemned the bombers behind the Newry blast.
“Northern Ireland’s politicians have been working incredibly hard to deliver a successful conclusion to the peace process and they will not allow a tiny minority to turn the clock back,” his spokesman said.
‘Senseless’
Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward branded the latest attack “an act of senseless violence by a small handful of people who refuse to accept the people’s overwhelming support for the peace process.”
“The best message that could be sent to them is a powerful rejection of violence through the completion of devolution.”
Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin insisted that the attack would not affect the Governments’ focus on supporting the Stormont institutions.
“This was a reckless, cowardly, criminal act which put at grave risk the lives of the community in Newry,” he said.
“This attack cannot be justified or excused. Its only purpose was to inflict suffering. Its perpetrators have no mandate or legitimacy.”
Leader of the nationalist SDLP Margaret Ritchie, Alliance leader David Ford and leader of the loyalist Progressive Unionist Party Dawn Purvis all condemned the bombing.
Last March dissidents shot dead two soldiers at Massereene army barracks in Antrim. Two days later they gunned down police constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon, Co Armagh as he answered a call for help.
In September police discovered a 600lb bomb in the south Armagh village of Forkhill.
Last month a Catholic police officer was seriously injured in car bomb attack in Co Antrim while a number of police stations have been shot at in recent weeks.

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