Strabane device aimed at killing police was roadside bomb

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A device designed to kill PSNI officers in Strabane this week was a roadside bomb, police have confirmed.

A 20-year-old man is being questioned by detectives in Belfast following Tuesday night’s attack.

He was arrested in Newtownstewart on Friday morning. The security operation in the Co Tyrone town has now ended.

Chief Inspector Ivor Morton said the area of Liskey Road and Townsend Street are now fully reopened to traffic and local residents who were displaced during the operation have been allowed to return to their homes.

He added: “I would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding during the course of this prolonged policing operation. Our primary aim throughout has been community safety and we are committed to doing this by working with the community.

“The security operation caused significant disruption to the people of the area, but was necessary to allow for a careful examination of the scene in order to keep people safe.

Ch Insp Morton said it was “extremely fortunate” that no one was killed, adding: “This was a complex security operation involving what can only be described as a roadside bomb with a command wire attached. This device was designed to kill or seriously injure officers serving the local community in Strabane, but it was also left in a built up area where it could quite easily have killed or maimed members of the public - showing a callous disregard for the safety of the local community.

“The blame for this incident lies squarely on the reckless individuals who placed this device. The overwhelming majority of people in the community do not want this type of activity and we as a police service will continue to work to bring those responsible before the courts.

“I would appeal for anyone with information about suspicious activity in the area to contact us by calling 101. Information can be passed anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”