Police blame dissident republicans for Northern Ireland bomb attack

An explosive device has detonated in Co Fermanagh in what police believe is a targeted attack

An explosive device has detonated in Co Fermanagh in what police believe is a targeted attack

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed that some form of the explosive device was detonated at Wattle Bridge, a village in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Monday's bomb attack in Fermanagh was the work of "depraved and sick republican terrorists" the chair of the NI Police Federation has said.

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the attack was "typical of the modus operandi of dissident republic groups who in recent times have planted hoax devices to lure security forces into an area to be attacked".

It is understood the device exploded after bomb disposal experts had defused a larger device in the area on Sunday night.

"Although this device was meant to kill police and Army personnel given the fact that it was placed on a main road, the result could well have been devastating for anyone in the immediate vicinity".

Deputy Chief Constable Martin says that while the investigation is at a very early stage, he is of the firm belief that "this was a deliberate attempt to lure police and ATO colleagues into the area to murder them".

There were no reports of any injuries and officers were investigating the cause of the explosion.

"We are certainly of a view that if a person had been standing convenient to it, they would have been very badly injured or possibly killed".

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Ms Foster tweeted her condemnation of the latest incident, describing the explosion as a "clear attempt to kill", while Mr Smith said he is "following developments closely".

SDLP Councillor for the area Adam Gannon said the crime has no support in the community of Fermanagh. "Those responsible are criminals threatening our community and they have to be caught".

Ulster Unionist MLA for Fermanagh and south Tyrone said the act harks back to The Troubles and urged anyone with information to contact police immediately. Armagh, as police attended a call-out from a member of the public.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar blasted those responsible for the attack.

He said in a statement: "There is never any justification to use violence to achieve political aims".

"Anyone with information on this should bring it forward to the PSNI".

There used to be a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but all the checkpoints and customs houses along the border were dismantled after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which has ensured decades-long peace and stability on the island of Ireland since then.

The source said that the officers were lucky not to have been killed or seriously injured when a bomb exploded.

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