14:39 GMT20 September 2020
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    Dissident Irish republicans in Northern Ireland have mounted a low-profile bombing campaign against the security forces for a number of years. Experts say they are trying to take advantage of the Irish border situation amid uncertainty about Brexit.

    Several police officers survived without injury after a bomb exploded in Northern Ireland on Monday, 19 August.

    A hoax device was found at the scene at Wattle Bridge near Newtownbutler in County Fermanagh on Sunday night but as officers combed the area on Monday morning a bomb went off. 

    The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the officers had been deliberately lured to the area and the bombers intended to murder them.

    The Chief Constable, Simon Byrne, said it was a "sinister development."

    ​The Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Michelle Gildernew, said the attack was "totally wrong".

    She said: "Thankfully no-one was injured in this incident but we could have been dealing with a situation where people were seriously injured or worse. Those responsible for this incident have nothing to offer society and need to end these actions immediately."

    Sinn Féin was the political wing of the Provisional IRA during The Troubles - when Irish republican terrorists killed hundreds of police and army officers.

    But since the Good Friday Agreement Sinn Féin has consistently spoken out against violence.

    The Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, said: "I strongly condemn the cowardly actions of those responsible for this bomb attack, which could have had devastating consequences. There is never any justification to use violence to achieve political aims." 

    ​Several small dissident republican groups, who usually use a variation of the IRA name, have rejected peace and continue to press for a united Ireland by violent means.

    Last month dissident republicans tried to murder police officers in Craigavon, County Armagh.

    DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the attack was "typical of the modus operandi of dissident republic groups who in recent times have planted hoax devices to lure security forces into an area to be attacked."

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