Grenades fail to explode at RUC stations


British army bomb disposal experts were called out early yesterday to deal with two failed grenade attacks on RUC stations in south and east Belfast. The attacks, which happened shortly after the talks agreement was announced, were similar to recent incidents for which the INLA claimed responsibility.

Neither of the grenades, believed to have been thrown at police stations, exploded. But more than 50 people were evacuated from their homes in east Belfast when a grenade was spotted by a police sentry outside Willowfield RUC Station on the Woodstock Road.

The second device was discovered in the rear yard of Ballynafeigh RUC Station on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast. Both grenades, said to be of second World War vintage, were dealt with by controlled explosions.

Meanwhile, police are trying to determine whether there was a loyalist paramilitary involvement in a fire at a north Belfast pub. Police are treating the incident - in which the barman in the Times Bar, York Street, was assaulted and tied up and left in the burning building - as attempted murder.