Northern Ireland news

Republican group claims responsibility for leaving Co Derry device

Mid Ulster SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone
Connla Young

A republican group based in Co Derry has said it was responsible for leaving an explosive device in Maghera last month.

Several houses were evacuated after what police called a "suspicious object" was discovered at Tirkane Road on Monday August 16.

Army technical officers attended the scene and recovered the object, which was described by police as "crude but viable".

A group, calling itself South Derry Republicans Against Death Dealers, last night claimed responsibility and issued a warning to anyone involved in drug dealing.

"We reiterate now and this is your final warning, cease your activities, stop poisoning our communities," it said in a statement.

The group first emerged in June when it claimed to have left a device, also described as crude but viable, in the Co Derry village of Bellaghy a month earlier.

Several homes were evacuated in the Beatrice Villas area during the alert.

At the time the organisation said it intended to target drug dealers across Derry, Antrim and Tyrone.

Mid Ulster SDLP assembly member Patsy McGlone said allegations of criminality should be referred to the PSNI.

"If there are alleged drug activities in the district people should report that to the police," he said.

Mr McGlone expressed concern at "some people taking the law into their own hands and the consequences that could follow for anyone - it could be an innocent living a house, it could be an innocent passer by - this is not the way to deal with these situations".

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