Northern Ireland news

Pipe bomb found beside Co Armagh community centre 'designed to injure police'

Police carrying out searches in Tarry Drive in Lurgan, Co Armagh. Picture by Matt Bohill

A VIABLE pipe bomb found beside a Co Armagh community centre was intended to injure PSNI officers, police have said.

The bomb was discovered in the garden of a house, next to the centre, during searches in Tarry Drive in Lurgan yesterday.

Dissident republicans are believed to have been responsible for the bomb which police said was "capable of (causing) substantial harm".

A gun was also seized during yesterday's searches.

It is understood police discovered the bomb following a tip-off.

Police said children attending a playgroup and several people living in the area had to be evacuated while the bomb was being examined.

Superintendent David Moore said the bomb had put the children and residents in danger.

"There is no doubt that this device was intended to harm police officers, however its placement and the manner in which it was left undoubtedly mean that had it detonated, it would almost certainly have caused death or serious injury," he said.

"Working together with the local community, this particular act of potentially lethal recklessness has been brought to an end."

He added: "Had this device not been found when it had, there is no telling what we may have been dealing with".

"Young children would have been walking right past this location and people residing peacefully in this area were put in danger," he said.

"The misguided individuals behind this device are seriously out of step with this community and clearly don’t care about the lives of those living in the area and the disruption they have brought to their doorsteps."

He appealed to anyone with information to contact police.

The bomb find comes just weeks after several men were arrested for taking part in an illegal Easter Rising parade in Lurgan.

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