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Northern Irish police report suspected car bomb in Londonderry
Police in Northern Ireland reported a suspected car bombing in Londonderry on Saturday (January 19) that local politicians said had caused no apparent injuries as people were urged to stay away from the area. An image released by police on Twitter showed what appeared to be a burning vehicle in Bishop Street in the centre of the city. Two local politicians said the suspected blast occurred outside the city's courthouse. A journalist from the Irish edition of the Sunday Times newspaper reported that the attack was carried out by the New IRA, a militant group opposed to the 1998 peace deal that largely ended three decades of violence in the British-run province. Some 3,600 people were killed in the conflict that was fought between mainly Protestant unionists who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom and predominantly Catholic nationalists. Some sporadic violence continues among small, splinter groups but car bombings are rare. The reported bombing comes as police on both sides of the now-open border between Northern Ireland and European Union-member Ireland have express fears that a return to a hard border after Brexit, complete with customs and other checks, could be a target for militant groups.