Suspected N.Irish nationalists attack police homes

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2011 1:38 PM
Suspected N.Irish nationalists attack police homes

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Suspected Irish nationalists carried out bomb attacks on the homes of a Catholic police officer and a retired police doctor near the Northern Irish city of Londonderry, police said on Wednesday.

A police representative body this summer said that dozens of police in Northern Ireland had been forced to flee their homes by nationalist militants, whose activity is at its highest level since a peace deal in 1998.

One bomb exploded outside the policeman's home near the village of Claudy but he wasn't in the house at the time.

A controlled explosion was later carried out on another device found in the garden of a nearby house belonging to a retired doctor who worked for decades as a medical officer for the police.

Three men have been arrested and police Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said he was certain that the Real IRA, a splinter group that split from the now defunct Irish Republican Army, were behind the attacks.

Armed dissident groups such as the Real IRA and Continuity IRA oppose Britain's presence in Northern Ireland but lack the wider community support the IRA had during the bloody period known as "the troubles."

(Reporting by Ivan Little; Writing by Conor Humphries)