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New IRA is suspected to be behind an attack in which a car bomb exploded outside Londonderry Courthouse on Saturday evening.

The bomb was planted in a stolen pizza delivery car before it was driven outside the court house on Bishop Street in Derry.

Detectives in Northern Ireland released CCTV footage revealing a group of young people walking past the vehicle just minutes before it exploded in a flash of light, as debris flew from the burning wreckage.

The four clips that the Police Service of Northern Ireland released via Twitter show a Ford Fusion car, which was hijacked from a pizza delivery driver earlier that evening, before a figure ran away from the vehicle after parking it.

Earlier fears of a secondary device have been ruled out by the Police.

Footage released by detectives in Northern Ireland showed a car exploding in a flash of light, sending debris flying across the Londonderry street.
Footage released by detectives in Northern Ireland showed a car exploding in a flash of light, sending debris flying across the Londonderry street.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said that the New IRA was their main line of inquiry.

“The New IRA, like most dissident republican groups in Northern Ireland, is small, largely unrepresentative, and determined to drag people back to somewhere they don’t want to be.

“Fortunately it didn’t kill anybody and fortunately it didn’t cause widespread damage, but clearly it was a very significant attempt to kill people in the local community.”

Two men in their 20s were arrested in the city in the early hours of Sunday by detectives investigating the explosion.

Forensic officers were on the scene investigating the debris of a suspected car bomb in Londonderry.
Forensic officers were on the scene investigating the debris of a suspected car bomb in Londonderry.

Those evacuated from nearby buildings included hundreds of hotel guests, 150 people from the Masonic Hall, and a large number of children from a church youth club.

Politicians across Northern Ireland’s divide have condemned the attack.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley said: “The small number of people responsible have absolutely nothing to offer Northern Ireland’s future and will not prevail.” 

Alternative arrangements have been put in place for cases that had been due to be heard at the Courthouse in Bishop Street.

Crown Court trials with juries have been adjourned until Tuesday while all other Crown Court business – non-trial and jury business – will be dealt with at Coleraine Courthouse on Monday.

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