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27/10/2021

Man arrested in Derry in connection with attempted bomb attack on PSNI officer

Man arrested in Derry in connection with attempted bomb attack on PSNI officer

PSNI vehicles at Ballyquin Road in Dungiven last April where a bomb was found next to a police officer's car. A 21-year-old man was arrested in Derry last night in connection with the attack

A man was arrested in Derry last night in connection with an attempted bomb attack on a female police officer.

The man, 21, was taken into custody at Musgrave Police Station in Belfast for questioning in relation to a bomb placed next to the rear of a PSNI officer's car on the Ballyquin Road, Dungiven on April 19, 2021.

The device was next to a container of flammable liquid which would have engulfed the backseat where the officer's three-year-old daughter would have been sitting had the bomb not been discovered.

A 52-year-old man was formally charged last May in connection with the attack alongside other terrorist-related activities going as far back as 2016.

Two other men arrested at the time, aged 23 and 62 respectively, were subsequently released.

Police believe this latest development regarding the attack is “in connection with the activities of the new IRA”.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Hamlin of the Terrorism Investigation Unit, said: “The man has been arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection with the attempted murder of a female member of police staff, who is also a part time police officer, following the discovery of a viable explosive device beside the young mother’s car on the Ballyquin Road, Dungiven on Monday 19th April.
“He has been taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Musgrave Police Station for questioning.”

The attack received widespread condemnation at the time.

“This was designed to cause a fireball which would have engulfed the victim's car and anyone in it or close by," said Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan.

“What is really distressing here is the terrorists placed the bomb at the rear of the car directly at the point where the victim's three-year-old daughter sits.

“This demonstrates the complete and utter disregard for the life of a mother and her toddler – this simply beggars belief.

“It's time for people to examine their own conscience and ask themselves whether they support groups who are attempting to kill a three-year-old child and her mother.”

Deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill, said of the incident back in April: “Those behind this reckless attack have absolutely nothing to offer society and have shown a callous disregard for the entire community.

“They seek only to drag our communities backwards; they have no place in our society and they should disband.”

Justice Minister and Alliance Party leader, Naomi Long, also said at the time: “When a device explodes, it does not discriminate. It does not pick and choose who it injures or who it kills.

"The people who sneaked around in the dark to plant this device have shown an utter disregard for human life, not only for this officer but for others living in the area or who may have been passing by.”

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