A BOMB has been found close to the venue for this summer’s G8 conference of world leaders in Northern Ireland.
It was made safe in an abandoned car in Co. Fermanagh - just 16 miles from the exclusive Lough Erne golf resort hosting this June’s summit. The PSNI said it was probably intended to attack a nearby police station.
There has been a heavy security presence in the area ahead of the G8.
Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process and responsible for a series of previous shootings and bombings are prime suspects.
PSNI district commander Pauline Shields said: “The people responsible for this have no regard for the lives of anyone in our community.
“It is fortunate that no-one was killed or seriously injured as a result of this reckless act.”
US president Barack Obama, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian president Vladimir Putin are among those expected to attend the G8 meeting at Lough Erne near Enniskillen.
A massive security operation will be mounted and thousands of police officers from UK forces drafted in to help bolster PSNI numbers. They will help provide security and safety at key venues.
The security alert over today’s bomb on the Derrylin Road, Enniskillen, has ended. Although investigations are at an early stage, police believe the vehicle containing the device was destined for Lisnaskea PSNI station, situated near homes and a church.
Residents near the scene of the alert were evacuated from their homes and Army technical officers carried out a clearance operation on the car.
Ms Shields added: “Once again our community has been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by an element intent on causing loss of life and disruption.
“The people who carried out this act are not part of the society within which the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to live. The subsequent complex operation has tied up resources that would otherwise be dealing with community issues.”
The finger of blame will be pointed at dissident republicans, who have murdered two soldiers, two policemen and a prison guard in their campaign of violence.
A week ago officers discovered a mortar-type device aimed towards New Barnsley police station in north Belfast. Also, three officers escaped injury when an explosive device detonated within metres of them as they patrolled a coastal path on the outskirts of Belfast.
Earlier this month two men were arrested after police intercepted a van carrying four mortar bombs which were primed and ready to fire at a station in Londonderry.
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers condemned those behind today’s incident.
“Those responsible for it have neither mandate nor legitimacy; they are totally out of touch with what the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want,” she said.
“Acts like this only serve to strengthen our resolve against those terrorists who have nothing to offer Northern Ireland except mayhem and destruction.”
DUP Stormont MLA Arlene Foster said those responsible were intent on taking life.
“Had this bomb been detonated in that locality there would have been carnage,” she warned.
She added: “When we look at the number of failed terrorist attempts across the province, it is clear that the police are being successful both at gathering intelligence and also at putting that knowledge to use.”
Policing Board chairman Brian Rea said he was grateful the bomb did not reach its intended destination.
“Yet again lives in the community have been put at risk by a minority whose actions are unwanted by the majority,” he said.