ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland — The Irish Republican Army said Monday that it planted the bomb that killed 11 civilians and wounded 63 others here at war memorial services but claimed that it intended to kill soldiers and that the bomb went off prematurely.
The attack stirred a wave of revulsion on both sides of the border with the Irish Republic, from Protestants and Roman Catholics alike.
The slaying of a Catholic on Monday and other shootings in Belfast heightened fears of a violent Protestant response.
Pope John Paul II sent a telegram to the local church in Enniskillen, expressing his "heartfelt condolences to the families of the innocent persons killed by this cruel act."
In a statement to Irish news media, the outlawed IRA sought to excuse the high civilian toll by saying the 40-pound bomb should have blown up as soldiers marched by during the Remembrance Day ceremony for fallen British soldiers. It said British forces set off the bomb with high-frequency scanning devices that have jammed and neutralized other IRA explosives in the past.