6 January 2005 Edition

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Unionist paramilitaries target Sinn Féin member

In a New Year bomb attack, a Sinn Féin member and his family had a lucky escape after unionist paramilitaries threw a pipe bomb at their Kilrea, County Derry, home on Sunday night 2 January.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, told An Phoblacht how he and his family returned home around 6pm and found a length of pipe lying in the back garden of their Bradden Road home.

"I went over to investigate the device and noticed one end was taped up and the other end had a hole in it about the size of a nail hole, with black powder spilling from it. It looked like the detonator had fallen out of the end of the bomb or burned itself out."

The man said the PSNI arrived with a British Army bomb disposal team and evacuated his family and a number of neighbouring houses.

The PSNI said they removed what they described as a viable device and confirmed that the device had the potential to kill.

Sinn Féin Councillor Billy Leonard said the man had received information about death threats from unionist paramilitaries a few months ago and it now seems those same paramilitaries are attempting to carry out this death threat.

"Given the nature of this latest sectarian attack and the attack on a Catholic-owned showroom in the area a couple of weeks ago, I would advise nationalists in the County Derry area to be very vigilant."

Meanwhile, unionist paramilitaries left pipe bombs at a number of Catholic schools in North Belfast in the run up to the Christmas holidays.

All the devices turned out to be hoaxes.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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