Northern Ireland Police received reports of an explosive device on a lorry in Belfast docks last Friday. The lorry was scheduled to travel to Scotland but as no device was found, the lorry continued as planned and arrived in Scotland. Following a search, no device was found.
On Monday, police officers were given a second report of an explosive being attached to a vehicle which was found after a two-day search.
Following a search of 400 vehicles, an explosive device was found attached to a vehicle in the Silverwood Industrial Estate in Armagh.
The device was made safe by ammunition technical offciers.
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Detective superintendent, Sean Wright said: “Following communications released by police yesterday of an explosive device in Silverwood Industrial Estate, Lurgan I can confirm that police first received a report on the evening of Friday 31 January that an explosive device was in a lorry in Belfast docks.
“That report informed police that the lorry was due to travel by ferry to Scotland.
“Based on this information police conducted checks of the docks area and worked with the ferry company, Belfast Harbour authorities and Police Scotland to try to locate that device.
“After thorough checks, nothing was found.
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“Working throughout the evening of Monday and Tuesday, police and the haulage company eliminated in the region of 400 vehicles in order to locate the explosive device.
“The device was subsequently found attached to a heavy goods vehicle in the Silverwood Industrial Estate.
“That explosive device was made safe by ATO colleagues.
“It is clear from the information available to police that dissident republicans deliberately and recklessly attached an explosive device to a heavy goods vehicle in the full knowledge and expectation that it would put the driver of that vehicle, road users and the wider public at serious risk of injury and possible death.