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Viable device thrown at police patrol but ‘missed target’

Police have confirmed that a viable device has been discovered in Craigavon.

Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor said: “At around midnight we received a report of a loud bang in the area of the Tullygally Road.

“A short time later we were contacted by a Belfast based newspaper who reported that a call had been made to them claiming a device had been fired at a police patrol but had missed its target.

“We responded along with ATO colleagues and a suspicious object was located.

“A full security clearance operation was implemented and this is continuing at present.

“At this stage we believe the device to be viable and that this was an attempt by dissident republican terrorists to murder police officers.

“At present it is unclear if the device was fired at a passing patrol or if this attack was set up in such a way as to target those local police officers responding to the area following reports from the public.

“I cannot condemn strongly enough those behind this cowardly and despicable act of terrorism.

“They offer nothing to this community and their actions here do not reflect the wishes of the vast majority of the law abiding residents of this area.

“I would appeal to anyone who could assist our investigation and help us identify the perpetrators to please get in touch with us by calling 101, or by calling the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Once the security operation has been completed the device will be removed and will be subject to detailed forensic examination.”

Upper Bann UUP MLA Doug Beattie condemned the attack.

He said: “Again the people of Upper Bann have faced disruption as republican terrorists attempt to murder police officers in the Tullygally area of Craigavon.

“It is absolutely contemptible that these pathetic individual believe that maiming and murdering police officers, or anyone else who might get in their way, will promote their deranged cause in any way.

“They are nothing more than self promoting psychopaths who thrive on chaos and anarchy.

“In the meantime innocent men, women and children have their lives disrupted with little regards from the terrorists.

“It is clear they care nothing about the hard working people of Craigavon and therefore should be treated with contempt by those very people.

“In the meantime I thank the Armed Forces, in the form of their EOD team, and police who deployed to the scene of this explosion to ensure that the community was protected and kept safe.”

The Upper Bann Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd added: “This incident in the Tullygally area of Craigavon where an attempt was made to kill police officers was wrong and I condemn it utterly.

“There can be no place in our society for these type of actions.

“It has also caused considerable disruption to the local community and I have visited the area and spoken to some of those caught up in it.

“Residents were evacuated from their homes after midnight and the security alert is continuing while searches are carried out.

“Those responsible for this incident have nothing to offer the local community or society as a whole.

“They need to end these futile actions immediately and let the community here live in peace.”

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