Luxury Northern Ireland hotel damaged in bombing

Luxury Northern Ireland hotel damaged in bombing

PanARMENIAN.Net - A luxury Northern Ireland hotel was damaged in a bombing late on Thursday, May 29 that politicians said was an attempt to drag the province back to its bloody past, but there were no injuries, according to Reuters.

A 1998 peace deal largely ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland between Protestants who want to remain British and Catholics favoring unification with Ireland, but pockets of division and sporadic violence remain.

A device packed into a holdall bag started a fire after it was thrown into the reception of the Everglades Hotel in Londonderry. Staff managed to evacuate the hotel before the device exploded, "undoubtedly preventing a tragedy", a Northern Ireland police spokesman said.

The bomber shouted a 40-minute warning and said he was a member of the IRA (Irish Republican Army), the all embracing name some militant groups have been using since they amalgamated, Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin told BBC Radio.

The bomb later went off while disposal experts were trying to defuse it. It was the first attack in Northern Ireland since the bombing of a shopping mall in November and there was no immediate claim of responsibility or explanation of why the hotel was targeted.

The attack came just hours after a new Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland was appointed.

"So many people are working hard to move the city forward, but those behind this device are trying to drag us back to the worst times," local member of parliament Mark Durkan of the republican SDLP party said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Three of the four main militant nationalist groups in Northern Ireland merged and reclaimed the banner of the IRA two years ago in a threat to intensify a campaign of violence against the continued British presence in the province.

It was the first time since the signing of a 1998 peace deal which cemented the Provisional IRA's ceasefire that disparate republican groups had come together under a single leadership. International monitors confirmed in 2005 that the IRA had given up all its weapons.

Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, once a leading IRA figure, condemned the attack and said his hometown of Londonderry would not be held back by those living in the past.

In the past two weeks, police in the Irish Republic have seized two substantial bombs and made a series of arrests before the devices could be shipped across the border into Northern Ireland.

 Top stories
The political leader of Iraq's Kurds earlier appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.
Hassan Rouhani said his government will continue his policy of moderation and "constructive engagement" with the West.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu visited the town of Soma, which in May was the scene of Turkey's worst ever mining disaster.
The embassy staff were evacuated to neighboring Tunisia "due to the ongoing violence, the U.S. State Department said.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.