BBC
28 Apr 2012

Police have said that the bomb found at the border near Newry contained 600 pounds of explosives and was fully primed.

The device, which had been placed in an abandoned van on the Fathom Line, was discovered on Thursday.

It was made safe on Friday evening.

Ch Supt Alasdair Robinson said the bomb was as twice as big as the bomb that exploded outside Newry courthouse two years ago.

He said it could have caused death and massive destruction. He also rejected criticism that motorists had been able to drive past the bomb and said police had closed a main cross-border road in a very short time.

The Fathom Line was closed for 24 hours while the police and Army dealt with the alert.

Ulster Unionist MLA for the area, Danny Kennedy said if the bomb had exploded it would have caused serious destruction.

“It had the potential to cause lethal damage. A 600 lbs device at the road side waiting for a police patrol. It is just unthinkable.”

Abandoned

On Thursday, the SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley, said a member of the public had reported the discovery of a suspicious vehicle to police.

It had been abandoned with its engine running.

Dissident republican paramilitaries have been blamed for a number of bomb attacks in the city in recent years.

Earlier this month, a bomb was found near the Cloghogue roundabout in Newry, just off the main Belfast to Dublin dual carriageway.

Police said the device contained a significant amount of explosives and had the potential to kill.

It was also made safe by army bomb experts.

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