PSNI attacked during Strabane security alert


PSNI officers were attacked with paint bombs and other masonry as they examined a suspicious vehicle during a security alert in Strabane.

Around 30 homes were evacuated during the operation which started late on Monday night. It has now ended.

A PSNI spokesman said: “The security alert at the Ballycolman Estate, Strabane area has now ended. ATO have finished at the scene and a suspicious vehicle located in the area has been declared nothing untoward. A number of homes were evacuated during the incident and it is believed that two controlled explosions were carried out.”

West Tyrone MLA Tom Buchanan condemned the attack on police officers within the Ballycolman estate as they “helped to ensure the safety of those living in the area by examining a suspicious and potentially dangerous vehicle”.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that they should be subjected to attack with paint bombs and masonry.

“This is not the first occasion where the police have been subject to attack within Ballymcolman. Only back in February there was a similar attack when police were dealing with a sensitive issue following a sudden death and last November they were targeted in a pipe bomb attack.

“There is a clear pattern of attacks against the police within Ballycolman and it Is time that all representatives in Strabane challenged those who believe they are above the law. There must be a clear statement that attacks against the police are wrong and can never be justified.”

SDLP councillor Patsy Kelly said the vehicle, which had Donegal registration plates, had been parked in the area for several days.

“People in Strabane have had enough disruption through the years, and they’re fed up with it,” he said.

“They deserve to be able to sleep at peace in their homes without this unnecessary and unwanted disruption.”