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article imagePolice in Northern Ireland prevent mortar attack

By Paul Iddon     Mar 4, 2013 in World
The Police Service of Northern Ireland acted decisively to prevent a mortar attack on a police station, foiling an attack that is eerily reminiscent of the kind of violence that plagued that polity throughout the course of the Troubles.
Smaller more obscure Irish nationalist militias are who the Northern Ireland authorities assume are behind this foiled attack. However as of writing no group has claimed responsibility.
A white van was intercepted by police forces. Four mortar bombs were about to be deployed. Following the evacuation of a hundred homes in the area army engineers managed to disarm these weapons.
The Chief Superintendent overseeing this disarmament, a man named Stephen Cargan, informed journalists that, "We could have been looking at mass murder today if those devices had exploded and hit their intended target. It was clearly sophisticated and worrying in terms of capability." (Reuters, March 4 2013)
Cargan also stated that, "These devices were primed. They are crude home-made devices and there is no way people who made these bombs would be certain they would have hit their target. There would have been mass murder of police, and serious damage to property." (The Independent, March 4 2013)
This was similar to an event in February 1991 when the IRA launched mortars aimed at 10 Downing Street. It was a similar mode of operation, simple van parking up and homemade mortars aimed at their target. Whilst on that occasion the IRA failed to kill anyone the bombs did force the cabinet inside 10 Downing Street to duck under the table. Had one shell been a few yards in the other direction it could have had killed the entire cabinet -- which consisted of the War Cabinet and senior government and military officials who were conglomerated to discuss Britain's course of action in the then ongoing Persian Gulf War against Iraq.
More about Northern ireland, Terrorism, Troubles, Mortar, Irish
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