Detective Superintendent Sean Wright, Head of PSNI’s Terrorism Investigation Unit said: “On Saturday evening, police received a report from a media outlet that had been made aware of a suspect device left in the Wattlebridge area. Police moved to secure the area in order to mitigate the potential risk to the public.
“On Sunday morning, a full clearance operation began with the support of ATO colleagues and colleagues from An Garda Siochana. During this operation, a bomb exploded in the area of the Cavan Road at its junction with the Wattlebridge Road. This was not a controlled explosion carried out by security services, it detonated without warning. This demonstrates how volatile these devices are and I am thankful that there were no injuries.
“Our investigation has indicated that this was a deliberate attempt by the Continuity IRA to murder police officers and army personnel. Thankfully these terrorists did not succeed in their murderous attempt and police officers and army personnel bravely continued the clearance operation, working to protect the community of Wattlebridge.
“It was only once we were satisfied that no further explosive devices were present that a forensic recovery of the exploded device took place and the area around the scene was subsequently reopened.
“A forensic examination of the device and its composition forms part of our ongoing police investigation.
“I continue to appeal to anyone with any information to come forward and speak to police. Those responsible for this reckless attack clearly do not care about their community and the lives of those who live in the local area. By placing an explosive device adjacent to a public road, it is clear that these terrorists do not mind who they hurt or murder.
“If anyone was in the Wattlebridge area anytime between 6pm on Friday 16th August and 8pm on Saturday 17th August they should contact police on 101 or anonymously on Crimestoppers. If any motorists were in the area and they have dashcam, please get in touch.”