Bombers target North Irish policeman's parents for second time

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 16, 2012 10:54 AM

BELFAST (Reuters) - A bomb was found under the car of a policeman's parents in Northern Ireland overnight and disarmed by army officers, law enforcement sources said on Monday, the latest in a spate of attempted attacks on Catholic officers and their families.

The police officer does not live with his parents, who suffered a similar attempted attack in 2009 and who live in a Catholic area of Londonderry, the country's second biggest city.

The attack comes a year after Catholic policeman Ronan Kerr was killed when a bomb exploded under his car in what was the first police killing in the British-controlled province for two years.

Nationalist paramilitaries opposed to a 1998 peace deal with Britain have targeted Catholic police who after a recruitment drive make up 30 percent of the force in a province where police were once predominantly Protestant.

The peace agreement largely ended more than three decades of violence between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists opposed to British rule of Northern Ireland and predominantly Protestant unionists who wanted it to continue.

A "significant" bomb was found near the main Dublin-to-Belfast motorway earlier this month.

Police last week arrested six people in Londonderry after a group of Irish militant nationalists threatened renewed attacks on law enforcement officers during a ceremony attended by hundreds at a city graveyard.

(Reporting by Ivan Little; Editing by Louise Ireland and Conor Humphries)