Bomb explodes in Fermanagh close to Cavan border

Police at the scene of an ongoing security operation in Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, have confirmed that some form of an explosive device has detonated in the area.

In confirming the reports, deputy chief constable Stephen Martin said: “At around 10.35am this morning, Monday, August 19, Police officers at the scene reported an explosion in the area of the Cavan Road at its junction with the Wattlebridge Road.”

There are no reports of any injuries and officers are investigating the cause of the explosion.

Police had received a report that a suspect device had been left in the area of Wattle Bridge on Saturday evening.

The area was secured by police and a full clearance operation began on Sunday morning.

Continuing, Martin said: “The initial report received by police indicated that a device had been left on the Wattlebridge Road however the explosion occurred on the main A3 Cavan Road.

He added: “While this investigation is at a very early stage, I am of the firm belief this was a deliberate attempt to lure police and Ammunition Technical Officers (ATO) colleagues into the area to murder them.

Although this device was intended to kill police and army personnel the fact that it was placed on a main road the result could well have been devastating for anyone in the immediate vicinity.

Constable Martin described the attack as “indiscriminate and reckless” and said “whilst there is no doubt in my mind that police responding to this call were the target; the reality is that anyone could have been caught up in the explosion.”

“The area around the scene will remain closed for some time while our officers conduct their investigations and ensure the area is safe.

Concluding, constable Martin called on anyone who may be able to help the investigation to come forward.

You can call Police on 101 or information can be given anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.