Police find bomb planted by ‘dissident republicans’ on lorry – days after Brexit Day probe on Scots-bound ferry

Police have found a bomb attached to a lorry at a Northern Irish industrial estate - just days after searching for an explosive on a Scots-bound ferry. Police in Ulster spent Monday and Tuesday searching 400 vehicles at Silverwood Industrial Estate in Lurgan before finding the device on an HGV. Officers believe the explosive was planted by "dissident republicans".

It comes after Scots police worked with Northern Irish officers at Belfast Harbour following reports that a bomb was on a lorry bound for Scotland via ferry on Friday, January 31 - also known as Brexit Day. Police say following "thorough" checks of vehicles in the docks, nothing was found on the day and the ship arrived safely on the other side of the channel. However a further report was then received that the bomb had been placed on a lorry belonging to a "named haulage company".

After being traced at Silverwood Industrial Estate, it was made safe. Detective Superintendent Sean Wright from Police Service Northern Ireland's Terrorism Investigation Unit said lives would have been at risk if the lorry had travelled from Lurgan into Belfast Harbour. He added: "It is clear from the information available to police that dissident republicans deliberately and recklessly attached an explosive device to a heavy goods vehicle in the full knowledge and expectation that it would put the driver of that vehicle, road users and the wider public at serious risk of injury and possible death.

"Had this vehicle travelled and the device had exploded at any point along the M1, across the Westlink or into the harbour estate the risks posed do not bear thinking about. "The only conclusion that we can draw is that once again dissident republicans have shown a total disregard for the community, for businesses and for wider society. "My appeal today is for anyone who was in the area of Silverwood Industrial Estate between 4pm and 10pm on Friday, January 31 and who may have noticed any unusual activity in the area to contact police.

"In addition I ask that anyone who was driving in the area and who would have dash-cam footage around these same times that they contact police, as a matter of urgency.

"Police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.  Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

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