Police officer killed as car bomb explodes in Omagh, Northern Ireland

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

A bomb positioned below the car of a police officer in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom has exploded, killing him. The unidentified 25-year-old officer, recently employed by the Police Service of Northern Ireland after graduating from a college of police training three weeks prior, was directly involved in the incident as he sat inside the vehicle outside his residence in Omagh, County Tyrone, which occurred at a time immediately before 1600 BST (1500 UTC) today. The man, who died at this location, has now been identified as Constable Ronan Kerr.

Cquote1.svg I have absolutely no doubt the overwhelming number of people in NI want to move on. It's only a few Neanderthal who want to go back. They will not drag us back to the past. Cquote2.svg

Peter Robinson, Northern Ireland Executive First Minister

It is currently uncertain as to whether or not any other individuals were killed or injured as a result of the incident. It is also unclear who was responsible for committing the act. It is thought that dissident republicans were responsible for the bomb blowing up today, due to numerous similar prior incidents involving them.

Gerry Adams, the current president of Sinn Féin, has stated: "I want to send my condolences to his family at this hugely traumatic time. Sinn Féin is determined that those responsible will not set back the progress of the peace and political process."

Shaun Woodward, the present Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has claimed that "[t]his evil and cowardly attack will sicken everyone across Northern Ireland. These crimes are targeted on those who protect the community. We all deeply mourn the brave young man whose life was taken by this savage crime. We all have a duty to stop those behind it from succeeding."

Over the course of the past one-and-a-half years, numerous incidents of a similar nature have taken place with Police Service of Northern Ireland employees being targeted. Despite various devices being unsuccessful in detonating, a police officer suffered an explosion in January 2010. As a consequence, both of his legs were lost. In a separate incident in May 2008, another police officer lost their legs as the result of a bomb attack. In March 2009, a group of dissident republicans were responsible for fatally shooting a policeman in Craigavon, County Armagh.

David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, said of today's incident: "Those who carried out this wicked and cowardly crime will never succeed in dragging Northern Ireland back to a dark and bloody past. Their actions are rejected by the overwhelming majority of people right from all parts of the community." Meanwhile, Peter Robinson, the current First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive, commented that "[i]t was a young man who was bravely entering the police service, recognising that he was putting his life on the line. I have absolutely no doubt the overwhelming number of people in NI want to move on. It's only a few Neanderthal who want to go back. They will not drag us back to the past."


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