DUBLIN: Two vans were hijacked in Londonderry on Monday, police said, two days after the Northern Irish city saw a car bombing involving a stolen car in an attack pinned on a dissident paramilitary group.
A bomb in a hijacked car blew up outside the courthouse in the border city on Saturday following a telephoned warning. There were no casualties and politicians on all sides condemned the attack, which has heightened concerns about the uncertainty surrounding Brexit disrupting a hard-won peace in the British province. On Monday, two further hijackings took place, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said. Three masked men hijacked a cargo van at around 11:30 am (1130 GMT), police said, before abandoning it. A controlled explosion was carried out on the vehicle. Nearby homes were evacuated.
Then at around 1:45 pm (1345 GMT), police received a report that a delivery driver’s van had been hijacked in another part of Northern Ireland’s second city by four masked men, one of whom was reported to have a gun. The two occupants of the van were ordered to drive it to a particular road and leave it there, the police said. “We are in the process of implementing a public safety operation, establishing cordons and evacuating a number of homes,” said superintendent Gordon McCalmont.
Meanwhile a fifth man has been arrested in connection with Saturday’s blast. Police also said they had arrested a 50-year-old man under the Terrorism Act as part of their investigation. On Sunday police arrested four men — two 21-year-olds, a 34-year-old and a 42-year-old.