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Elderly residents evacuated as ‘viable’ bomb made safe in Dungannon town centre

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Elderly residents evacuated as ‘viable’ bomb made safe in Dungannon town centre thumbnailThe security alert in the Fairmount Park area of Dungannon.

A VIABLE bomb found in Dungannon last week was placed inside a pensioner's car.

The man, aged in his 70s, found the pipe bomb in the car after noticing his window had been broken at the car, parked in Fairmount Park in the town.

He discovered the device in his car last Wednesday morning.

Around 50 residents, many elderly, had to be evacuated from their homes during the security alert.

Fairmount Park was closed at its junction with Irish Street and elderly residents in nearby Minardan were forced to leave their homes for most of the day.

Local businesses in the area were evacuated and were also forced to close following the find shortly before 11 o'clock.

Army Technical Officers attended the scene.

The device was finally made safe and taken away for further examination after eight hours.  

The security alert lasted most of the day and residents were not allowed back into their homes until after 7pm.

Speaking to the Courier, Sinn Fein MLA for the area Michelle Gildernew expressed her "disgust" at the incident.

"It was an absolutely despicable act and it needs to be condemned outright.

"It doesn't take a big man to put a bomb in a pensioner's car and we have a family who are very shaken and traumatised. It really is a cowardly act.

"I'm disgusted people think this is something they could stand over or justify and I feel very sorry for the family concerned.

"I have visited them and assured them of my support."

When contacted by the Courier, Police refused to give any further details in relation to the bomb.

Inspector Robert McGowan would only say in a statement: "I would like to thank residents and the local business community for their patience during this operation."

The Police have appealed to anyone who knows anything about this incident or anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact Police at Dungannon on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 211 18/01/17.

Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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