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A woman walks past murals on the Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland depicting images related to the province's conflicts with the Republic of Ireland; sectarian tensions remain between Catholic Irish nationalists and Protestant British unionists (AFP Photo/Paul FAITH)London (AFP) - A viable pipe bomb was found near a war memorial in the Northern Irish town Omagh ahead of a Remembrance Sunday parade, police confirmed.
The "pipe bomb type device" has been removed for forensic examination, as investigators probe if it was planted by dissident republicans, Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable George Hamilton said in a statement on Sunday."This small but potentially dangerous device was left to cause the maximum amount of disruption to the Remembrance Sunday commemorations," he said."Whilst our investigation into the incident is at a very early stage one strong line of enquiry is that violent dissident republicans are responsible."The chief constable called the culprits "a small and callous group of violent people who have nothing to offer our communities other than fear and intimidation."The discovery of the device led to the diversion of an annual Remembrance Sunday march, while a traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the town's cenotaph was postponed, according to media reports.
The Government says the peace process cannot go on with the IRA “half in, half out”.
Chief Constable Hamilton added: "Their actions today have demonstrated the disregard and disrespect they have for this community, which has already suffered so much pain and hurt at the hands of terrorists.""It was a sickening and appalling act on a day which should bring people together to remember the sacrifice made by people from all our communities."Northern Ireland was riven by three decades of conflict before the signing of a landmark peace agreement in 1998 that introduced devolved government.March 2009 Republican paramilitaries shoot dead two British soldiers at their barracks near Antrim and wound four other people.May 2011 The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh make a state visit to Ireland, the first since the 1911 tour by George V, Her Majesty’s grandfather.HM Queen shakes hands with Martin Mc Guinness at Windsor Castle (Reuters) April 2014 Martin Mc Guinness, the former IRA commander, shakes hands with the Queen as he is invited to a state banquet at Windsor Castle.
May 2015 Six men are arrested in the Irish republic after police discover bomb-making equipment close to where the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are due to visit.November 1987 11 civilians are killed by a Provisional IRA bomb at a Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen.