Northern Ireland news

New republican group says it left south Derry device

Several homes were evacuated during a security alert in Bellaghy, Co Derry, last month
Connla Young

A previously unheard of republican group has claimed responsibility for leaving a device in Co Derry.

In statement, South Derry Republicans Against Death Dealers said it was responsible for placing the device in the village of Bellaghy last month.

The PSNI later described the device, which led to several homes being evacuated in the Beatrice Villas area, as "crude but viable".

It was later taken away for forensic examination.

The new republican group said it intends to target dealers across in Derry, Antrim and Tyrone, stating that "we hereby put on warning that drug dealers preying on our youth and wider community will have no hiding place from future action.

"We know who you are so now is the time to cease your activities," it added.

Mid Ulster SDLP assembly member Patsy McGlone was last night critical of the threat.

"The response to death dealing is certainly not more death dealing," he said.

"The police themselves have recovered some quite substantial drug supplies in the area and across the north in recent times.

"We encourage people who know of activities of this nature to provide it directly to the police or someone within the local community who can relay it to the police."

Mr McGlone said he is aware of the ongoing drugs issue in the wider area.

"It's an ongoing concern brought to my attention and other SDLP representatives in the Mid Ulster area," he said.

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