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New IRA 'claims responsibility for bomb attack that injured officer'

A group calling itself the New IRA has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that injured a prison officer in Belfast, according to reports.

The officer is said to be in a stable condition after an explosive device detonated under the van he was driving.

Four people including a woman have since been arrested.

In a statement to the BBC, the dissident republican group reportedly said the officer was targeted because he was involved in training other guards at HMP Maghaberry, near Lisburn.

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New IRA 'claims responsibility for bomb attack'

The van (centre, top) under which a device exploded in east Belfas Credit: PA Wire

A group calling itself the New IRA has claimed responsibility for a Semtex bomb attack that injured a prison officer in Belfast, according to reports.

The 52-year-old, a married father of three, required surgery after an explosive device detonated under the van he was driving on Friday morning. His condition has been described as stable.

Four people including a woman have since been arrested.

In a statement to the BBC, the dissident republican group reportedly said the officer was targeted because he was involved in training other guards at HMP Maghaberry, near Lisburn.

A spokesman said the officer was one of a number on a list of potential targets and the attack arose from a dispute over the treatment of dissident Republican inmates.

The group claimed to have used the plastic explosive Semtex and a commercial detonator in the attack.

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