Dissidents admit Falls Road attack (UTV)

The dissident IRA has admitted responsibility for an attack on police in the Falls Road area of west Belfast on Friday night.

A bomb, triggered by command wire, exploded close to a PSNI landrover at around 10.30pm after being left near the entrance of Belfast City Cemetery.

Police confirmed over the weekend that four officers and several members of the public – including a Filipino family with children aged 11, 13 and 16 – were caught up in the blast.

The family, who had been driving past, were not hurt but were treated for shock.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the dissident IRA said it had fired a mortar bomb which, it claimed, had struck the PSNI landrover. Earlier police sources said minimal damage had been caused to the vehicle and that there had not been a direct hit.

In its statement, the dissidents claimed they had a second so-called unit armed with automatic weapons close by. They said their intention was to engage police getting out of vehicles.

The dissident IRA had previously claimed the mortar bomb had contained explosives from a new supply of semtex – a claim which the group repeated on Tuesday.

The terror group issued its statement to Belfast-based journalist Brian Rowan.

Police originally said that they believed the device had been thrown at the officers but later confirmed it had been detonated via command wire.

The blast, on a busy Falls Road, was heard around the city on Friday night.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area of the City Cemetery in recent days or anyone who has any information to contact them.

Superintendent Barbara Gray said: “This was not only a deliberate attempt to kill police officers but was an attack on the community of west Belfast, and it is only through good fortune that no-one, either police or civilian was seriously injured or killed.

“It is fortunate there were no injuries sustained by police or the family whose car was damaged. I send my best wishes to the police officers and the family affected.

“The people behind this attack clearly planned it but I wonder what their plan was had members of the public been injured or killed? The Falls Road is a main route with a constant flow of traffic and pedestrians and it was totally irresponsible to carry out this attack on the local community.”

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