Police lured by ‘hoax bomb’ are ‘lucky to be alive’ after second device explodes

A number of police officers are "lucky to be alive" after they were lured into the path of an explosion during a hoax security alert.

The terrifying incident happened in the Wattle Bridge area of Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, this morning.

Police officers had been there since Sunday evening with the road remaining closed overnight.

An initial device found in the area was declared a hoax – but during follow-up searches – a secondary device exploded.

Police say they firmly believe officers were lured to the area to be murdered.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: “At around 10.35am this morning Police officers at the scene have reported an explosion in the area of the Cavan Road at its junction with the Wattlebridge Road.

"There are no reports of any injuries and officers are investigating the cause of the explosion.

"Police had received a report that a suspect device had been left in the area of Wattle Bridge on Saturday evening.  The area was secured by police and a full clearance operation began on Sunday morning.

“The initial report received by police indicated that a device had been left on the Wattlebridge Road however the explosion occurred on the main A3 Cavan Road.

“While this investigation is at a very early stage I am of the firm belief this was a deliberate attempt to lure police and ATO colleagues into the area to murder them.

"Although this device was intended to kill police and army personnel the fact that it was placed on a main road the result could well have been devastating for anyone in the immediate vicinity."

The attack on officers has been slammed by the Deputy Chief Constable who said we are 'fortunate' there was not serious injury or death.

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