Pipe bomb exploded close to house with young children

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Police have slammed as “reckless” an incident in Co Armagh during which a pipe bomb exploded close to a house where young children were living.

Residents in the Enniskeen area of Craigavon reported hearing a loud bang sometime between 11.20pm and 11.30pm on Saturday.

When police and army bomb experts arrived at the scene, it was established that a pipe bomb had exploded outside a house where a woman and a number of young children had been.

A second device, which had not detonated, was also discovered in the area.

“The remnants of the device that exploded and the second device have been seized by police and taken away for further forensic examination,” a police spokesman said.

There have been no reports of any injury or damage to property.

Residents who were evacuated overnight were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday morning.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have described the incident as a “reckless attack by those responsible”.

“We are extremely fortunate that we are not dealing with any serious injuries, or worse today,” the spokesman said.

“Anyone could have picked up these potentially deadly devices, and those behind the attack have clearly no regard for the safety of the others.

“Our enquiries are at an early stage and I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area last night and saw any suspicious activity, or any suspicious vehicles in the area to get in touch with us on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1611 of 16/02/19.”

Democratic Unionist MLA Carla Lockhart condemned those responsible for the pipe bombs.

“It doesn’t matter what cause or reason they think they are advancing, violence is not the way to do it,” she said.

“My thoughts are with the families who had to leave their home overnight especially on a Saturday night when people are relaxing after a hard week at work. Craigavon doesn’t need this and these families certainly don’t.

“I am concerned at this worrying trend of criminal activity. These devices were viable and could very well have caused serious injury or indeed death. I would ask anyone with information to come forward to the PSNI via the 101 service.”