Posted on September 9, 2019
The mortar was found on a wall near houses in Church View, Strabane, at 08:30 BST on Saturday. Police said the bomb was “a deadly device.”
Aileen Mullan said her teenage daughter has not returned home since it was found and her son will not play outside the front of the house. She said: “I thought what could have happened – it was right under my daughter’s bedroom window. My daughter is 14 and my son is seven, my son could have easily walked out the front door and lifted it, quite easily went out and lifted it and he would have been gone.” She said when her son heard there was a bomb he “was screaming the house down.” He told his mum he had never “seen a real bomb before.” Ms Mullan said: “I thought he would never have to. He won’t go around the front of the house in case there is a bomb.”
She said her teenage daughter has stayed at a friend’s house since Saturday. “That’s not what I want for my children; my 14-year-old won’t come home. She is terrified,” she said.
Ms Mullan said whoever was responsible should “come and tell me why they put my children’s lives in danger”.
BBC News NI home affairs correspondent Julian O’Neill said the PSNI strongly suspected dissident republicans were behind the attempt to kill police officers.
Det Insp Andrew Hamlin said the device had been an attempt to target police officers, but that it had “the capacity to kill or seriously injure anyone in the vicinity. This is not the first time a deadly device has been left in a public space recently and serves to remind us all how little the terrorists responsible care for the lives of local people,” he added.
A 33-year-old man has been arrested under terrorism legislation.