Police commander: Children and random bystanders could’ve picked up Newry bomb

The PSNI has said that any random passer-by could have picked up a device which was found in Newry.

By Adam Kula
Sunday, 21st February 2021, 1:45 pm
The scene of the alert at dusk on Saturday
The scene of the alert at dusk on Saturday

The army’s bomb squad carried out a controlled detonation on the object which police believe was “a viable device”.

The security alert began on Saturday, sometime around 3.30pm.

It centred on the Ashgrove Road part of the city, a long thoroughfare on the northern outskirts of the city.

Superintendent Norman Haslett, Newry, Mourne & Down district police commander, Ssaid: “As part of our public safety operation, a number of homes were evacuated.

“Some of the residents affected made use of the local leisure centre, as facilitated by the local Council. As of this time, most of the families have returned home and any roads closed have reopened.

“Our enquiries are continuing and we are working to establish who is responsible for what can only be described as a reckless act.

“This device could easily have detonated, or have been picked up by anyone, including children.

“Someone could have suffered serious injury.

“As we continue with our investigation, I want to thank everyone inconvenienced by the alert.

“In particular, I want to thank the 15 families who had to leave their homes as we worked to make the scene safe.”

Superintendent Haslett is appealing to anyone who has information which could help the police investigation to call 101 and quote reference number 1114 of 20/02/21.

A report can also be submitted via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The UUP, SDLP and Sinn Fein all issued statements of condemnation over the alert.

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