Derry device designed to kill, says police chief


The district commander of the PSNI in Derry said yesterday the explosive device found in a car in the Creggan area of the city on Thursday night was an armour-piercing weapon similar to those used by insurgency groups in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s the first time such a device has been found in Derry. The improvised device consists of a self-forging warhead designed to penetrate armour up to four inches thick.

Chief Supt Stephen Martin said the device was viable and ready for use when it was found in a car stopped by police officers at Westway during an operation against dissident republicans. Two police cars forced the driver of a Renault Megane to stop. Three men inside the car were arrested and a fourth was arrested nearby. The four men, all from Derry, are in their 40s.

Members of the PSNI’s major investigations team were yesterday continuing to question the four at the serious crime suite in Antrim.

Some 25 houses had to be evacuated before the area was reopened early yesterday.

“This is a weapon primarily designed for use against armoured vehicles and my belief is it was intended for an attack on a police vehicle,” said Chief Supt Martin. “It is designed for one purpose only, and that is to kill.”