1 Feb 2009

Car bomb found in Northern Ireland now defused

5:44 pm on 1 February 2009

Explosives experts in Northern Ireland have defused a 136kg car bomb that was abandoned close to houses and a village school.

It took them four days to disarm the bomb, which was discovered in the back of a black Volkswagen car on Tuesday in the village of Castlewellan in the southeast of the province.

A warning call was received about the bomb.

Police say the vehicle had apparently been dumped by a dissident Republican group after plans to attack a nearby British army base were foiled.

Superintendent Greg Blain of the Police Service of Northern Ireland says it could have been devastating if the bomb had gone off.

He says if the bomb had gone off he believes there would have been substantial damage and loss of life.

Bomb discoveries in Northern Ireland are now rare. Three decades of civil unrest in Northern Ireland largely ended with the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. About 3000 people were killed in that time.