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Long raises issue of East Belfast pipe bomb attacks in Westminster

March 14, 2012 5:53 PM

Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long raised the issue of recent pipe bomb attacks in East Belfast during Prime Minister's Question Time in Westminster. In addition to condemning the incidents, she also pressed the Deputy Prime Minister to ensure that the work previously undertaken by the Independent Monitoring Commission, which assessed both paramilitary and criminal activity by proscribed organisations, continues through the other available agencies in their absence.

Naomi Long MP said: "I am extremely concerned about the recent pipe bomb and gun attacks in East Belfast in recent months. These were indiscriminate attacks causing significant disruption to local communities and putting people's lives at risk in a most reckless and indiscriminate manner. People had hoped that such incidents were behind us and want this violence off our streets and I would call on those behind these attacks to stop immediately before lives are lost.

"Whilst to date none have been attributed to any paramilitary organisations, it is important that any possible links to proscribed organisations are closely monitored. In the past, the Independent Monitoring Commission would have looked at levels of both criminality and paramilitary activity linked to such groups on an ongoing basis and reported, and I believe that in its absence it is important that Government continue to do so, through both devolved and non-devolved agencies.

"The Deputy Prime Minister said that, at present, there was no indication that these were terrorist attacks and that they were, therefore, devolved issues. Whilst I agree that there is no indication at present that proscribed groups are responsible, regardless of who planted the bombs or their motivation, these are clearly acts of terror and the UK Government does maintain responsibility at least in part for the response to them."

ENDS

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