A BOMB has exploded in a village in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
Reports are coming in this morning of a bomb which has detonated near Wattle Bridge, a village in the Fermanagh area.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed the device went off this morning, 19 August, and have said that nearby police officers were very lucky not to have been seriously injured or even killed by the bomb.
Officers and bomb disposal units were already at the scene to investigate another, even larger device nearby. They had been alerted to the presence of the first device, and the roads were closed off when the second, previously undetected device went off.
The road closures ensured that there were no cars or pedestrians on the road when the second device exploded, preventing any civilian casualties.
People have taken to social media to voice their concerns about the bomb and the news that a hard border may be returning to Ireland as a consequence of a possible No-Deal Brexit, drawing comparisons to the ‘Troubles’ of Northern Ireland before the Good Friday Agreement was put in place.
County Fermanagh borders four counties in the Republic of Ireland: Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim and Donegal.
More information is expected to be released later this afternoon.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has released a statement regarding the detonation of the bomb:
“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.
“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.
“While this investigation is at a very early stage I am of the firm belief this was a deliberate attempt to lure police and 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.
“This attack was indiscriminate and reckless and, 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. We are extremely fortunate that the actions of officers who were first on scene meant that there was not serious injury or death. I wish to acknowledge and commend the bravery and commitment of those officers and army personnel at the scene of this attack.
“I would like to again thank the community for their patience and cooperation throughout the security operation as we seek to ensure their safety. The area around the scene will remain closed for some time while our officers conduct their investigations and ensure the area is safe.
“I ask that anyone who may be able to help our investigation and identify the perpetrators of this sinister and potentially murderous attack to please come forward. You can call us on 101 or if you would prefer information can be given anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”