A car bomb exploded in Derry city center, outside the Derry courthouse, at 8:15pm on Saturday evening.
PSNI received a 30 minute warning before the car bomb detonated outside the security entrance to Bishop Street Courthouse. Police arrived on the scene as the bomb exploded but without time to evacuate all premises.
No injuries have been reported.
A pizza delivery van had been hijacked in the Brandywell area and it is believed that it was this vehicle that was used in the attack, The Irish Times reports.
According to the PSNI Foyle Facebook page, police are concerned about a second car on the street.
Part of the Diamond and much of Bishop Street has been cordoned off.
Police are at the scene and have asked for “the patience and co-operation of the public and the business community as we carry out our initial investigations.” British army technical officers are also on their way to the scene.
Police are in attendance at the scene of an incident in Derry/Londonderry city centre. We would ask for patience and co-operation of the public and the business community as we carry out our initial investigations. Any info to 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.— PSNI (@PoliceServiceNI) January 19, 2019
An updated posted on the PSNI’s Foyle Facebook page reads: “As far as we know no one injured. There is another car we are not happy about. There are ongoing necessary evacuations.”
Mayor of Derry John Boyle said: “Words fail you. It is regrettable that we are standing here once more in front of a police cordon after an explosion in the city centre. Tonight I’m very unhappy because I know the people of this city want to move forward and to build a better future and I am deeply saddened that a minority in our community wants to drag us back to the past. And what is worse, threaten life.”
The MP for the area, Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion, also condemned the attack.
“This incident has shocked the local community,” she said.
“In particular, there are many elderly residents who live in the area who have been alarmed by this incident. Thankfully no one appears to have been injured.
Two men, both in their twenties, have been arrested by detectives investigating explosion outside Bishop Street courthouse in Derry/Londonderry.— PSNI (@PoliceServiceNI) January 20, 2019
“Derry is a city moving forward and no one wants this type of incident. It is not representative of the city. I would encourage anyone with information about this incident to bring it to the police.”
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney tweeted: “I utterly condemn the car bomb terrorist attack in Derry this evening. There is no place and no justification possible for such acts of terror, which seek to drag Northern Ireland back to violence and conflict.”
According to the PSNI Twitter account, two men in their 20s have since been arrested by police investigating the explosion.