Car bomb explodes outside court in Northern Ireland

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A bombing outside the courthouse in Newry, Northern Ireland has been blamed on republican dissidents. The car bomb went off at around 10PM (2200 GMT) on Monday night, while police were evacuating the area following coded warnings. A senior police officer said it was a "miracle" that no one was killed or injured.

Local Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy said that he could hear the explosion from his home four miles away. He condemned those responsible, saying they had nothing to offer "except the prospect of a return to the past".

"It is only by sheer miracle that nobody was killed or injured" said Police Chief Inspector Sam Cordnor. Coded warnings of the bomb were received by a hospital and some local businesses.

There have been several incidents over the past year linked to republican groups who oppose the Northern Ireland peace process. Just days ago in the village of Keady, around 20 miles from Newry, a mortar bomb was left outside the police station. However, Monday's attack is the first successful detonation of a car bomb since 2001.