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Car bomb explodes outside N.Irish police station

Car bomb explodes outside N.Irish police station
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Dissident Republicans appear to have struck again in Northern Ireland after a car bomb exploded outside a police station in the troubled province.

Officers say at least three people were injured in the blast at Newtownhamilton, close to the border with the Republic of Ireland.

No-one has claimed responsiblity but Republican splinter groups opposed to the peace process have been blamed for similar explosions in the past.

A similar car bomb left outside the same station on April 13 failed to detonate.

Danny Kennedy, the deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, said tougher security measures were needed to stem further attacks.

“We need action. This is the second attack on this station in days. It is seen as a soft target and that cannot be allowed,” he said.

The Newtownhamilton bombs follow an April 12 explosion outside the Belftast offices of MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence service, for which the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

That blast marked the day London transferred powers for the judiciary and policing back to Northern Ireland’s Stormont Assembly.

The Stormont Assembly is a power-sharing executive that includes both Republican and Unionist politicians. It was created in 1998 when the British and Irish governments signed the Good Friday agreement to end decades of bloodshed over Northern Ireland’s sovereignty.

Over 3,000 people died in a violent period in the province’s history known as The Troubles. The conflict was the result of a bitter and deep division between Protestants and Catholics over who should rule Northern Ireland.

Republican Catholics wanted to be governed by Ireland, while Unionist Protestants wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom.