ANTRIM ROAD. UNA BOMBA ‘ANTI-UOMO’, L’ORDIGNO DELL’OGLAIGH NA HEIREANN
Un’eventuale esplosione avrebbe potuto uccidere centinaia di persone. Allerta ancora in corso
Regna ancora la paura in Antrim Road a North Belfast. Tre le esplosioni controllate con le quali gli artificieri hanno cercato fino ad ora di annientare il potenziale esplosivo dell’ordigno piazzato a bordo di un Volkswagen nero, abbandonato dai dissidenti nelle immediate vicinanze della stazione della PSNI. Proprio i suoi agenti avrebbero dovuto essere le vittime designate.
L’allarme era scattato alle 15 circa di ieri 25 gennaio, dopo 3 telefonate di avvertimento. Indiscrezioni indicano l’Oglaigh na hEireann come responsabile dell’attentato, ma la notizia non è ancora stata ufficialmente confermata.
A fornire maggiori dettagli in merito, è Gerry Kelly. “(Nella prima telefonata) Hanno detto che c’era una bomba nel raggio di alcune miglia lungo Antrim Road”.
“In una seconda telefonata, hanno detto che si trovava da qualche parte in Antrim Road e nella terza telefonata l’area è stata ristretta a ‘qualche parte’ intorno alla zona di Glandore”.
Il Police Service of Northern Ireland ha intanto deciso di estendere l’allerta anche alla giornata di domani 28 gennaio.
“Si tratta di una bomba anti-uomo progettata per uccidere la gente della zona,” ha affermato Mark Hamilton, Comandante di Distretto della PSNI.
“Molte centinaia di persone hanno camminato vicino a questa bomba dopo essere stata abbandonato dai terroristi e le loro vite sono state messe chiaramente a rischio”.
“Non siamo ancora soddisfatti della messa in sicurezza dell’area e gli ufficiali tecnici dell’esercito continueranno a ancora lavorare per un periodo considerevole per assicurarsi che l’area sia del tutto sicuro”.
Le parole del Comandante di Distretto della PSNI (Video)
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PSNI say hundreds walked past north Belfast bomb (BBC News Northern Ireland)
NI police have said a bomb left outside a Belfast shop was an “anti personnel device” designed to “kill people in the area”.
A security operation is continuing on the Antrim Road after a series of calls from a dissident republican group.
PSNI District Commander Mark Hamilton said one line of inquiry was that the bomb was intended to murder officers attending a call on Sunday night.
He said hundreds of people had walked past the device.
“This was an anti-personnel bomb which was designed to kill people in the area,” he said.
“Many hundreds of people have walked past this bomb after it was abandoned by terrorists and their lives were clearly at risk.
“We are not satisfied yet that this area is safe and the army technical officer will continue to work for some considerable period to make sure the area is entirely safe.
“After that we will have to move into forensic recovery mode because a very serious crime has been committed against this community.”
The alert began after a series of calls claiming to be from dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann.
Up to 100 homes and businesses have been evacuated. The road has been closed since 1600 GMT on Tuesday.
The alert is close to Antrim Road police station.
Army bomb disposal experts are still examining the device and have carried out controlled explosions on a suspect car.
About 50 families have been moved from their homes, while a children’s home had also been evacuated and people under sedation in a clinic had to be moved.
Some families who were moved from their homes were put up at Fortwilliam and McCrory Presbyterian Church overnight.
Police and bomb experts (picture by JD Kernoghan) Army bomb experts move in to examine the device
The Reverend Lesley Carroll said the alert had been “very disruptive”.
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said those responsible had nothing to offer society.
“Those responsible prove only how totally inconsiderate they are of other people’s well-being and I condemn their actions utterly,” he said.
Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said police had received three coded warnings. But he said the calls were very confusing.
“They said there was a bomb within the distance of some mile along the Antrim Road. That was checked out,” Mr Kelly said.
“In a second phone call, they said it was somewhere on the Antrim Road and in the third phone call it has been narrowed down to somewhere around the Glandore area.
“They said in their latest phone call it was in a dangerous condition. We need to know where that is so that something can be done about it.”
On Wednesday night, there was a security alert on the Ballymena Road in Carnlough, County Antrim, following the discovery of a pipe bomb.
There was also an alert in Larne, after the discovery of a suspicious object at The Roddens.
Meanwhile in a separate development, police investigating dissident republican activity in County Tyrone have arrested a man.
The 48-year-old was detained in Strabane on Wednesday morning.
- Hundreds walked by Belfast bomb (bbc.co.uk)
- ‘Large device’ examined in alert (bbc.co.uk)
- Homes evacuated in security alert (bbc.co.uk)
- Homes evacuated amid ‘unstable bomb’ alert (independent.co.uk)
- Deluded Dissidents Dump ‘Dangerous’ Device in Densely-Peopled District (politics.ie)