Monday’s Boston Marathon bomb blasts have revived painful memories of the 1998 Omagh bomb in Co. Tyrone, a Stormont Assembly member said.

One of the worst atrocities of the Northern Ireland Troubles, the Real IRA detonated a car bomb on a busy market street on Saturday 15 August 1998, killing 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and injuring 220.

Ulster Unionist MLA Ross Hussey said the fear of terrorism has struck again following Monday’s attack in Massachusetts, the Irish Examiner reports.

Hussey said: “That terror was revisited by people who live in Northern Ireland.

“I immediately thought of Omagh on the August 15 1998 when my town was visited by evil people, and that fear came back into me, that we could be seeing this revisited on us again.”

Mr Hussey added: “The people that carried out this particular attack were terrorists, their intention was to terrorise and they have succeeded.

“No excuse can be made for this type of activity. How can any human being do that to another?”

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said Northern Irish people enjoy a special relationship with those in Boston.

“The city is at once American, European and Irish,” he said.

“The images on our screen last night about what happened in Boston yesterday seem all the more chilling.

“We should remember not just the people of Boston but the people of other countries and other places who yesterday lost people in tragic, sudden circumstances as a consequence of terror.

“The scenes and means of terror in Boston had previously been visited on us in our own experience, bombs in crowded streets, in refuse bins, leading to the death of a child.

“There will be others ... the poignancy of what happened yesterday is very relevant to their lives.”