Dublin: Surge In Pipe Bomb Attacks As Gang Turf Wars & Feuds Escalate

15 Apr

THERE has been a sharp increase in completed bomb attacks this year, as gang turf wars and personal feuds reach new heights.

There have been seven such attacks so far in 2011, compared with six in 2010.

Army bomb disposal experts are also seeing a greater range of explosive weaponry being used in the last year.

In addition to the traditional weapons of choice — pipe bombs and grenades — rocket launchers and mortars have been added.

These devices are being used by both criminal gangs and dissident republicans.

The Defence Forces Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) teams have been particularly busy in the last week, following the discovery of three viable homemade bombs and an explosion at a house.

All incidents were in west Dublin, a large geographical area and home to a multitude of gang feuds and personal rivalries.

On Wednesday night, an EOD team made safe two viable devices, known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), at a park in Finglas, north-west Dublin.

Also on Wednesday, army experts made safe a viable device outside a house on Rossmore Drive, Ballyfermot, south-west Dublin.

On Tuesday, an EOD team conducted a “post-blast analysis” after a homemade bomb ripped apart the porch of a house in Clondalkin, south-west Dublin.

Luckily, a middle-aged couple and their six-year-old granddaughter were uninjured.

Defence forces’ figures show there were 196 EOD callouts in 2009, 198 in 2010 and 63 to far this year. Of these, there were:

* 29 IEDs in 2009, 21 in 2010 and nine so far this year.

* 10 explosions in 2009, six in 2010 and seven so far this year

“There has been a steady increase in callouts and viable IEDs to be dealt with since 2007,” said a defence forces’ spokesman.

“The key difference between 2009 and 2010 is the breadth of devices dealt with. In 2010 army bomb disposal teams dealt with a wide range including rocket propelled grenades, improvised mortars, explosive and component finds and viable IEDs.”

Gardaí are increasingly concerned at the recklessness of the attacks and the risk that people will be seriously harmed or killed.

On March 23 last, an elderly couple were lucky to escape with their lives when a grenade was thrown through their kitchen window in Downpatrick Road, Crumlin, south Dublin.

Gardaí said the military-style fragmentation grenade blew a “big hole” in the kitchen and blasted shrapnel through the house.

The violence is escalating due to a combination of entrenched and deepening feuds, control over a diminishing drugs market and access to a greater range of cheaper weaponry in the arms black market.

Bomb teams examined two mortars at the end of last year linked to dissident republicans as well as two rocket launchers shipped in by one of the Crumlin gangs.

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