Category: Archive

Provos suspected of planting bomb in North Belfast

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

BELFAST — Army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on a vehicle left parked outside an RUC police station in North Belfast Tuesday after a local radio station received a telephoned warning.

Police would not comment if any group had claimed responsibility for telephoned warning, but Ulster Television reported Tuesday night that a caller, using a recognized code, had claimed to represent the IRA and said a 300-pound car bomb had been left near the RUC station.

Several families were evacuated around the Deer Park Road and Old Park Road areas surrounding the nearby RUC station while army bomb squad carried out the controlled explosion, a police spokesman said.

The incident comes as the British Prime Minster Tony Blair continued to try to persuade the Ulster Unionists to accept the British and Irish governments’ Way Forward proposal, a plan to implement the new power-sharing executive before any decommissioning of paramilitary arms begins.

The British and Irish governments have pushed the Unionists to accept the plan which calls for them to sit on Northern Ireland’s new Executive by July 15 with Sinn Fein and for disarming to start within weeks.

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Ulster Unionists have demanded more clarification of the governments’ guarantees that the IRA will disarm once Sinn Fein members are allowed to take their seats.

On Monday evening Downing Street suggested the government would review the Good Friday agreement’s prisoner-release program if the IRA reneged on the deal to disarm once the coalition executive was formed.

In Westminister on Monday, Blair told Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble that without IRA disarmament, Sinn Fein could be ousted from the executive and the new government would be suspended. The other parties could then work to form a new executive without Sinn Fein, he said.

Dermot Nesbitt, an Ulster Unionist assembly member for South Down, said the party would consider the halting of prison releases as a fair and equitable sanction across loyalist and Republican lines should decommissioning not take place.

But yesterday Sinn Fein reacted angrily to what the party saw as a move away from the Good Friday agreement.

"We have made it clear that any move outside the Good Friday agreement would be in breach of the Good Friday agreement," a Sinn Fein spokesman said.

"Everything that has gone on and will go on must fall within the terms of the Good Friday agreement," he said.

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