Dissidents blamed as car bomb shatters Derry bank
Dissident republicans have been blamed for a car bomb attack in Derry early today.
No one was injured in the blast, but several business properties were damaged.
The bomb, which had been left in a Vauxhall Corsa, went off an hour after a telephone warning by the terrorists.
The worst of the damage was at Ulster Bank in Culmore Road and the nearby Da Vinci's hotel and restaurant complex.
Residents in a nursing home and houses in the area had been evacuated before the explosion just after midnight.
Two months ago a 200lb car bomb exploded outside a police station half a mile away in the city's Strand Road. Dissident republicans were also blamed for that explosion.
SDLP Mayor Colm Eastwood, who visited the scene, said: "I do not know what these people are hoping to achieve. They say they love their country but they spend their time trying to destroy it. The people of this city will be very angry."
Yesterday, PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Judith Gillespie said they were concerned about a "growing capability" of dissident groups.
She said: "We have seen an increase in technical expertise and the successful detonation of improvised explosive devices, the range of techniques they are now using -- and that is of great concern."
There was also increasing co-operation among the renegade groups opposed to the peace process, officers from both sides of the border said.