In the northern Irish city of Londonderry, there was an explosion in front of a courthouse. The background is unclear, the police investigate evidence of a car bomb. Politicians are already talking about a plot.
After a violent explosion in the city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland, police are investigating. On Twitter, the forces released a picture showing a fireball in front of a courthouse and wrote, “Bishop Street Locked – Stay Away Suspected Car Bomb.”
There are evacuation measures for a suspected second vehicle, the police said. According to previous information, no one was injured.
Several politicians are already talking about an attack. Arlene Forster, Northern Ireland’s former head of government and leader of the conservative DUP party, called the explosion a “pointless act of terrorism” that had to be “condemned in the strongest terms.”
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney wrote on Twitter of a “terrorist car bomb attack” aimed at bringing Northern Ireland back into violence and conflict. Northern Ireland MP Gary Middleton called the explosion a “step backward”.
During the decades of bloody Northern Ireland conflict, in which Irish Catholic nationalists and British Protestant loyalists fought, car bombs had killed many people.
Since the 1960s, 3,500 people have died in the conflict that ended in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement. It assures, among other things, a sharing of power between Protestants and Catholics.
Observers fear that hostilities could flare up in the wake of Britain’s exit from the EU. In the worst case, Brexit between Ireland and Northern Ireland could create an external EU border with strict controls that could lead to tensions between communities. Previous efforts to prevent such border controls through an agreement have been unsuccessful.