11 January 2006

Army defuse bomb in hotel grounds


Army bomb experts carrried out controlled explosions

The Army has defused a car bomb in the grounds of an Armagh hotel.

The device, made up of gas cylinders, was left in a vehicle outside the Armagh City Hotel on the Friary Road.

A number of controlled explosions were carried out on the car, which is thought to have been stolen in the Armagh area on Tuesday night.

PSNI Supterintendent Bob Moore said it was carried out by those who "wanted to terrorise" others with their "repugnant activity and redundant mindset".

"The motive for this incident defies logic and rational understanding," he said.

"All that has been achieved as a result of the incident at the City Hotel is widespread disruption, worry and upset to the wider community residing, working, visiting or travelling through Armagh.

"It creates a negative impact and undoes all the good work that has and is being done by council, community leaders and the business fraternity to attract employment and tourism to the area. "

'Despicable incident'

Mr Moore said that two cars and a shotgun had been stolen from a house in the Ballyrath area of Armagh before 2300 GMT on Tuesday, by men describing themselves as republicans.

He said an elderly woman in the house suffered shock as a result of what he said was a "despicable" incident.

A vehicle, thought to be one of the stolen cars, was later found on fire.

A Vauxhall Vectra car was found abandoned in the car park of the Armagh City Hotel on Wednesday morning following a telephone call.

Police are trying to establish if it was the car stolen from the Ballyrath Road.

He urged anyone with information about the incident to contact police.

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