Oglaigh na hEireann claims bomb responsibility

The dissident republican group Oglaigh na heireann has claimed responsibility for the attempted bomb attack in Belfast city centre last weekend.

A north Belfast man was hijacked on Sunday and forced to transport the device, which was loaded in a beer keg and placed in the back of his Renault Laguna car.

The car was then left at the entrance to the Victoria Square underground car park before the man ran to the nearby Musgrave Street police station to raise the alarm.

The bomb only partially detonated, restricting damage caused to the car.

Using a recognised codeword, Oglaigh na heireann claimed it was responsible.

The group claimed the bomb contained "over 150lb of commercial explosives and was intended to cause maximum damage to an economic target".

It added that it "would continue to target commercial premises in the future".

Last month the group claimed responsibility for a fire-bomb attack which destroyed a discount store in Belfast city centre, B&MvBargains in Rosemary Street.

Meanwhile, police investigating dissident republican activity are understood to have arrested a father-of-two during a house search in Ardoyne in north Belfast.

Christopher Headley was arrested after confronting police searching his Brompton Park home yesterday morning. His 18-year-old daughter Claire claimed she was manhandled and verbally abused during the search.

Police called to the house shortly after 8am with a warrant stating they were searching for "component parts of bombs, wigs, a patterned dress, documents, computer equipment and mobile phones".

Ms Headley claimed the way the search was carried out was "very aggressive and totally unnecessary".

"At first they refused to show me the warrant. My mum and dad were in bed and I asked them to wait while I woke them up but they just pushed me out of the way and came into the house.

"My dad was dragged out into the garden, we tried to tell them he has a heart condition but they just weren't interested.

"They turned the place upside down and then just left it like that. Despite the list of things they said they were looking for all they took was a halloween dress up wig".

Ms Headley said she will be making a complaint to the Police Ombudsman about the search.

Police were not available to confirm the arrest last night.

SECURITY alert in south Armagh was expected to continue today following the discovery of a suspicious object close to the north/ South electricity interconnector.

The object was found near the village of Crossmaglen on Wednesday and British army bomb disposal experts have since been dealing with it.

A number of homes were evacuated yesterday and police thanked the community for its patience.

The interconnector is a high-voltage powerline that transfers electricity between the powergrids in the north and the Republic.

A man purporting to represent a dissident republican paramilitary group claimed in a telephone call to The Irish News that a bomb had been left in a beer keg attached to an electricity pylon.

The north/South inter-connector was abandoned in 1975 following a number of IRA bomb attacks and was not restored until the mid nineties, at a cost of £1.2m.


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