Bomb found under lorry in NI after reports on Brexit Day it was aboard ferry for Britain

6 February 2020, 12:51

The initial report said the device was at Belfast docks
The initial report said the device was at Belfast docks. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Police in Northern Ireland have removed a bomb hidden under a lorry in County Armagh after responding to reports about a Brexit-linked plot.

The PSNI said it found the bomb attached to a lorry in the Silverwood industrial estate in Lurgan on Wednesday after a two-day search of 400 vehicles.

It first received warning of the explosive on 31 January - the same day the UK left the European Union - which said the device was underneath a lorry at Belfast docks and was due to board a ferry for Scotland.

After "thorough checks", nothing was found, the force said.

Three days later - on Monday - another report was received to say the explosive had been attached to a vehicle of a known haulage company.

Officers conducted a further investigation and discovered the device in Lurgan.

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In a statement, Detective Superintendent Sean Wright said it believed dissident republicans were "deliberately and recklessly" behind the incident.

He said "the risks posed do not bear thinking about" had the device exploded while travelling along busy motorways.

"The only conclusion that we can draw is that once again dissident republicans have shown a total disregard for the community, for businesses and wider society."

He has now asked for anyone who noticed suspicious activity in the industrial estate between 4pm and 10pm on 31 January to come forward.

:: Police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.  Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.