Attempt made to kill police officers in Strabane

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Police say an attempt was made to kill officers in Strabane last night (Tuesday).

PSNI Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: “At this time our assessment is that a device exploded while police were on patrol in the area of Townsend Street shortly after 8.30pm.

“The investigation is at an early stage and we have had to ask some residents to leave their homes while we carry out our enquiries. While we are unable to go into specifics of the incident at this stage, I am confident in saying that we are incredibly lucky that the lives of officers and other members of the community were not lost last night.

“We appreciate the understanding and patience of local residents while we carry out our enquiries and would appeal for anyone with information about suspicious activity in the area to contact us.”

SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan said such attacks have no place in today’s society.

McCrossan said: “I have spoken at length to the PSNI where it has become clear that individuals have deliberately tried to kill two local police officers last night through the use of an explosive device. This device has been described as substantial in size and it went off around 8:30pm last night. Fortunately, the explosion missed two PSNI officers which were the target.

“It’s my understanding that many families and individuals in the vicinity of the area have had to be moved out as a precaution and that roads into and out of the area are currently closed as forensic evidence gathering continues.

“Such attacks on the PSNI have no place in a modern progressive society. Strabane has come a long way over recent years and the people want no return of the past.”

Police can be contacted on 101 or information can be passed anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.