3 April 1997 Edition

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Series of IRA attacks

Cost of Manchester bomb revealed in Swiss documents

In a brief statement following a double bomb attack on the main London to Glasgow rail link at Wilmslow in Cheshire last week, the IRA said:

``Volunteers of Oglaigh na hEireann planted 2 bombs in Wilmslow, Chesire, England on Wednesday 26 March.''

The attack threw rail traffic, both passenger and commerical, into chaos. A railtrack official also revealed that there would be continued disruption to services.


It was revealed this week that last June's massive bomb in nearby Manchester cost insurance companies £411 million in compensation claims alone, making it the most expensive in 1996.
The huge cost of rebuilding parts of the Arndale Centre was disclosed in a report by the `Swiss Reinsurance Company' this week. More than 400 businesses in a half mile radius of Manchester city centre were affected by the blast on 15 June last year. The previous February's bomb at Canary Wharf in London is estimated by insurance adjusters to have cost £150 million, and after the 1992 Baltic Exchange bomb in the City of London, several international finance companies moved their operations out of England.


In the aftermath of another sniper attack in South Armagh, the IRA in a supplied statement confirmed that their Volunteers were involved:
``On Saturday 29 March an active service unit moved into a prepared position overlooking the joint British army/RUC barracks in Forkhill. Using the area's natural cover the unit set up a firing position in advance of Saturday's operation. Other Volunteers armed with automatic rifles covered their comrade as he waited for a British patrol to emerge from their base. Just after 11.30pm a large number of British soldiers with a couple of RUC members amongst them left the main gate running for cover across the road. A single shot was fired hitting one RUC member high in the right thigh, throwing him backwards to the ground. He was observed to be seriously wounded and the officer in command of the ASU then ordered the unit's dispersal. All made their return to base despite British reinforcements being flown in from the Crossmaglen and Bessbrook bases''.


A massive landmine containing more than 1,000lbs of explosives dug into a ploughed field at Clough three miles from Co Down's main British army base at Ballykinlar was accidentally uncovered at 8am last Saturday morning.
Details have been released revealing that the landmine contained nine seperate booster charges designed to increase its explosive potential. It had been due to be fitted with a command wire to complete the firing mechanism before its discovery.

The site of the landmine is frequently used by British Army convoys.

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