PSNI arrest two men in Derry over bomb left at officer’s car

Police believe dissident republican group the New IRA is behind the attack

PSNI vehicles block a road during the security operation after a bomb was left in a car in  Co Derry. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PSNI vehicles block a road during the security operation after a bomb was left in a car in Co Derry. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Two men have been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of a part-time police officer in Co Derry on Monday.

The police believe the dissident republican group the New IRA was responsible for the bomb, which was left beside the car of a female member of police staff and part-time police officer near where her three-year-old daughter sits.

One man (36) was detained in the Lettershandoney area of Derry, and the other (26) in the Creggan area of the city, police said.

They were arrested under the Terrorism Act by detectives from the Terrorism Investigation Unit of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) .

They have been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite in Belfast and are being questioned by detectives.

Det Supt Richard Campbell said police were continuing to investigate the planting of the viable device, which was discovered beside the young mother’s car in Ballyquin Road, Dungiven on Monday April 19th.

He said although the investigation was at an early stage, police were aware of a claim of responsibility on behalf of the New IRA that was a “strong line of enquiry for us.”

Det Supt Campbell said the device, “which had explosives attached to a container with flammable liquid, was designed to cause a fireball which would have engulfed the victim’s car and anyone in it or anyone close by, or those calling to the house.

“What is really distressing 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.

“It demonstrates the complete and utter disregard those who planted it had for the life of a mother and her very young daughter,” he said, describing it as a “cowardly and despicable act carried out by desperate people” who “deserve no support from any part of our community”.

Det Supt Campbell appealed for anyone with information about this or any other dissident republican activity to speak to police.

“We particularly want to hear from anyone who was in the area of Ballyquin Road, Dungiven between Monday 12th and Monday 19th, April 2021.”

The PSNI has opened an online portal where information can be provided or photographs or footage uploaded or police can be contacted by phone on 101 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.