“Several petrol bombs” were thrown at law enforcement vehicles in Northern Ireland during a police operation against the New IRA (Irish Republican Army) paramilitary organisation, authorities said on Monday evening.
The operation in Creggan, in Derry/Londonderry, started on Monday morning and involved 80 officers and explosive detection dogs. It came after a mortar device was found on Saturday morning in Strabane, about 24 km south of Derry/Londonderry.
“It is our assessment that the New IRA is responsible for the mortar device that was discovered outside homes in Church View Close in Strabane on Saturday morning,” District Commander Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said in a statement on Monday.
“The New IRA members behind this attack are living in the community. They are building bombs and storing weapons and placing the community at risk,” he also said, adding: “Our assessment is that this group is concealing bomb-making materials.”
But police reported in the late afternoon that a “build-up of young people” in the vicinity of the operation and that “several missiles” had been thrown at officers.
Authorities also announced that it had released a 33-year-old man arrested under terrorism legislation in connection with the improvised explosive device in Strabane.