Officers praised for bomb evacuations

The PSNI District Commander in Londonderry has this evening praised the swift actions of his officers following two explosions in the city centre.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said: “Following two telephone bomb warnings shortly after 7.30 pm this evening police began to evacuate homes and businesses, including a number of elderly residents from sheltered accommodation in the Bridge St area. Shortly after 8pm two explosions occurred in the Foyle Street and Strand Road areas.

He added: “Thankfully we are not dealing with mass casualties or worse this evening. The reckless acts of those who planted these devices stand in stark contrast to those of the brave officers who entered these areas to evacuate local residents and businesses. The people in Derry do not want this disruption. It is cowardly and callous.

“People simply want to move on with their lives, not take a step back. Regrettably the whole community will once again suffer as a result of the needless actions of a few. We will experience major traffic disruption tonight and for much of tomorrow and life will be severely disrupted in the city.

“I would urge the local community to be patient with us but these investigations take time. The blame for this disruption lies firmly with those who planted the bombs.

“I am appealing to anyone who has information in relation to these incidents to contact police in Strand Road on 0845 600 8000. If you prefer to provide information without giving your details you can contact the independent crime stoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”