BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) A car bomb explosion in the English city of Birmingham was probably the work of the outlawed anti-British group the Real IRA, police said yesterday.
The device partially exploded in a busy area late Saturday but caused no serious injuries.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion but police said it bore the hallmarks of Real IRA, an Irish dissident group that has carried out several attacks in Britain.
“This fits a pattern of events involving Irish Republican dissident terrorist groups, probably the Real IRA,” said Assistant Chief Constable of Birmingham Police Chris Sims.
Sims said the bomb was “a very substantial device” similar in size to car bombs planted outside British Broadcasting Corp. studios and in Ealing, west London, earlier this year. The Ealing bomb contained nearly 90 pounds of explosives, police said at the time.
Saturday”s bombing came just hours after politicians in Northern Ireland found a way to rescue their power-sharing government. It was on the verge of collapsing after Protestant extremists defeated David Trimble”s re-election as government leader Friday.
Trimble, who is the Ulster Unionist Party chief, has been given a second chance to win re-election today after a handful of neutral politicians agreed to join the Protestant voting bloc, outmaneuvering his hard-line opponents.
Britain”s top Northern Ireland official, John Reid, condemned the car bomb attack. “Those responsible for the car bomb attack in Birmingham have absolutely nothing to offer but violence and destruction.”