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PSNI criticized for slow response

Local residents and political representatives are criticizing police today for their slow response to a bomb at a PSNI station in County Armagh that left two people injured.

The explosion happened at an unoccupied building close to Newtownhamilton police station at about 11.20 p.m. on Thursday night, according to the Irish Times.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said: "Given there was an attack only a week ago you would have thought commanders would have reviewed the situation and placed more police on the ground to protect the area," he said. "They obviously haven't learned those lessons."

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Ulster Unionist deputy leader Danny Kennedy praised the fire department. "The police were still not present at that time [of the explosion] and had it not been for the excellent and very prompt work of local firemen, then we could have had a very serious situation," he said.

PSNI Area Commander Sam Cordner said it was impossible for police to be everywhere all the time and stressed that responses to dissident attacks had to be carefully considered as they were intent on killing police.

A warning had been telephoned to a Belfast hospital an hour before the incident. Officers were on their way to the scene when the device detonated. It is understood the bomb was placed in a white Toyota Corolla, which was then abandoned outside the police station. A number of properties were damaged in the attack and windows were broken in several homes in the vicinity of the explosion. Two people were taken to hospital.

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In a joint statement the Church of Ireland's Archbishop Alan Harper and the Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh Gerard Clifford said: "Small, secretive coteries of dissidents will not deflect us from continuing the journey towards a peaceful and reconciled society."