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Bomb attack a wicked crime

If the wicked plan concocted by dissident republicans in Co Derry had succeeded, a young mother and her three-year-old child would today be dead or horribly injured after being engulfed in flames.

Precisely what cause would have been advanced by such a heinous crime? Not one that would have any measurable support among the vast majority of people on this island.

The woman who was targeted at her home was a civilian member of the PSNI who also serves as a part-time police officer.

The bomb intended to kill her was left at the rear of her car outside her home at Ballyquin Road, Dungiven. According to Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan, the device, once detonated, was designed to create a fireball.

He also said the bombers would have been aware of the child seat in the back of the car.

The fact that the young mother and her child were targeted in this way will cause widespread revulsion and anger.

It also demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt that those who made and planted this bomb and planned this evil act, are devoid of conscience and true humanity.

The cowardly figures who perpetrated this abhorrent deed may claim to be involved in what they see as a noble endeavour but there is nothing heroic about a campaign that results in the deaths of a mother and child.

Anyone who thinks that the murder of someone who has stepped up to serve the community can in any way be justified, is seriously deluded.

It is ten years since the appalling killing of Constable Ronan Kerr. A decade on, there is broad nationalist support for the PSNI, Sinn Féin has backed recruitment campaigns and there is admiration for those who decide to serve the public at great personal risk.

Responsibility for this latest attack in Dungiven is focused on the New IRA and comes two years after the murder of Lyra McKee in the Creggan area of Derry.

It is profoundly depressing that dissident republicans have failed to learn that most people reject completely the violence of the past, which has caused so much pain and suffering.

They fail to understand that people are looking towards the future - a future where mothers and children are able to live in peace without fear of murder by their fellow citizens.

The dissidents need to end their campaign of terror. Anyone who has any information about this evil crime should come forward as a matter of urgency.

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