Dublin: British Army experts defused a
300-pound bomb left by Irish Republican Army dissidents in a
van outside the police station in a Northern Ireland border
village on Friday, police said.
IRA dissidents opposed to Northern Ireland`s 1998 peace
accord and the Catholic-Protestant government it spawned have
planted a string of car bombs in the British territory since
January. Most have failed to detonate, and none has caused any
The latest threat in the predominantly Catholic village
of Aughnacloy, midway between Dublin and Belfast, forced
authorities to evacuate about 350 residents overnight and
close the local school.
Police Superintendent Brian Kee said his officers still
were evacuating locals to church and community halls when a
60-minute advance warning, telephoned to a Belfast newspaper
using the dissidents` confidential code word, expired.
"An hour sounds like a long time, but when you have to
evacuate 350 people it`s a very short period of time. We were
still evacuating people when the hour was up," Kee said. "If
the bomb had detonated it would have caused widespread
devastation in the village and it`s very likely that lives
would have been lost."