A car bomb exploded outside a police station in South Armagh on Thursday night in a deliberate attempt to kill policemen.
The warned that was given said the device would go off later than it did, and police were clearing the area when it exploded.
Masked gunmen fired shots into the air after planting the bomb. Two people suffered minor injuries. The Real IRA is believed to be responsible.
Last week, the Real IRA left another car bomb outside the same police base. Army technical officers defused that device and villagers were evacuated.
The local PSNI area commander, Chief Inspector Sam Cordner, said last night's attack was designed to kill police officers clearing the area.
"This was an attack designed to murder police officers and our response needs to be thought through and measured," he said. "These are people who are hellbent on killing police officers in this area."
"Due to the swift actions of fire service personnel who were on duty in Newtownhamilton at the time loss of life was prevented," he said.
Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson, condemned the bombing. He said it was an "evil and cowardly attack" but would not stop Northern Ireland "continuing the road to peace."
Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness stated the dissidents would not "break the will of the community."
Since the beginning of this year the Real IRA, Continuity IRA and Óglaigh na hEireann have carried out several operations, including bombing MI5’s regional headquarters and Northern Ireland's Policing Board headquarters, planting an under-car bomb that seriously injured a Catholic police officer and causing an explosion outside Newry court house. The Real IRA also killed a man in Derry they alleged worked for MI5.
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