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IRA Admits Placing Bomb That Killed 11, 'Regrets' Early Blast

November 09, 1987|Associated Press

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland — The Irish Republican Army today admitted planting a bomb that killed 11 civilians and injured 63 but said it intended to kill security forces and the device went off prematurely.

In a statement issued to news agencies in Dublin, the Irish capital, the outlawed nationalist guerrilla group said it deeply regretted Sunday's bombing. Earlier reports had put the injury toll at 61. (Story, Page 4.)

The statement said an IRA unit planted the bomb with the aim of killing British soldiers and Northern Ireland police but had not triggered the radio-controlled device.

Instead, it said, a British army "high-frequency scanning device" had triggered the bomb.

The statement, coded in a way that vouched for its authenticity, said there was a "battle for supremacy between the IRA and the British army's electronic engineers in the use of remote control bombs. We deeply regret what occurred."

In Belfast today, a lone gunman killed a Roman Catholic construction worker and five Catholic youths were shot and wounded from a passing car. The attacks--75 miles away from this town near the Irish border where the bomb exploded--were apparent reprisals by members of the province's Protestant majority. None of the gunmen was caught.

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