Parcel bombs linked to dissidents
The breakaway 'Real IRA' was thought to have carried out parcel
bomb attacks on the governor of Maghaberry prison and and four
members of District Policing Partnerships (DPPs).
Three devices were discovered at the Mallusk centre in County
Antrim as staff sorted mail in the early hours of yesterday. Two
more were discovered in follow-up searches.
One of the three parcel bombs intercepted at Mallusk sorting
office was addressed to the governor of Maghaberry Prison.
Workers were evacuated twice from the sorting centre while
British Army bomb disposal experts defused the devices, which
were described as "crude but viable".
A full security sweep of the complex took place yesterday, with
a deployment of PSNI police searching through thousands of items
of mail by hand.
British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy condemned the attacks.
"These activities have no place in the Northern Ireland of the
21st century," he said.
Policing Board vice-chairman Denis Bradley said it was
"disturbing for the people involved".
"They are doing their best, they have taken a stance around
policing - to get in there and help and make it more sensitive
to the needs and desires of the community," he said.
"They are being targeted and picked out in this horrible
parlance of 'legitimate targets' - first of all as if there was
anyone was a target, and secondly as if anything of this nature
Meanwhile, supporters of republicans imprisoned at Maghaberry
have called for street demonstrations "to highlight the ongoing
harassment and abuse of Republican prisoners in Maghaberry
In a statement announcing a street protest later this month, the
Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) said:
"Despite achieving the hard won but moderate demand of
segregation from Loyalists and criminals the POW's in Roe House
are still under pressure from the Prison Administration and
"This includes the continuation of forced strip searches,
denials of basic amenities, the intensification and lengthening
of lock-up time plus the humiliation still being endured by
visiting family members, friends and political representatives.
"We urge everyone to stand behind these men and their families
by coming out onto the streets in the coming weeks and making
their voices heard once more."