Five days in Londonderry: one bomb attack and two shootings

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said dissidents are trying to take advantage of the ongoing political instability

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said dissidents are trying to take advantage of the ongoing political instability

A pipe bomb attack in Londonderry is the latest example of a “surge” in dissident republican activity, fuelled by the ongoing instability at Stormont, Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton has said.

The pipe bomb, uncovered at 2am on Friday morning, was left outside a home in Tamneymore Park, near the nationalist Top of the Hill enclave in Londonderry’s Waterside. It was made safe by army technical officers yesterday afternoon and taken away for forensic examination.

The bomb attack follows two shooting incidents elsewhere in Londonderry earlier in the week.

DUP MLA Mr Middleton said “there is no doubt” dissident republicans are seeking to capitalise on the ongoing political instability.

He told the News Letter: “This is now the third such incident in five days, with the two shooting incidents and now the pipe bomb device being left outside someone’s home. It’s concerning that there seems to be a surge in this type of activity.

“People are linking it to the fact that there is instability at Stormont, to Martin McGuinness’s funeral, to the fact that there are tensions within the republican movement as to the direction of travel and how they can achieve their aims.

“There is no doubt in my mind that when there is instability at Stormont, there are those who will try and take advantage. It does concern me that when there is instability, certain people will try and take advantage of that.

“I know that, having spoken to the police, they are concerned about this upsurge. The police have said they are looking to put in extra resources to try and get a grip of this situation.”