March 25, 2013 / 7:01 PM / 6 years ago

Defused N.Irish bomb was intended for G8 venue-militants

BELFAST, March 25 (Reuters) - The hotel where G8 leaders will meet in June was the intended target of a bomb intercepted by Northern Irish police and defused last weekend, a militant nationalist group said on Monday.

Army bomb disposal experts defused the device containing 60 kilograms of homemade explosive in the county Fermanagh town of Enniskillen, close to where the Group of Eight leaders will hold their annual summit in three months’ time.

Dissident nationalist group Oglaigh na hEireann, loosely translated as Soldiers of Ireland, said in a coded message to television station UTV that the bomb was bound for the 5-star Lough Erne hotel, the broadcaster said.

A senior Northern Irish officer said on Saturday that police believed the bomb was en route to a police station in a town nearby.

A 1998 peace deal largely ended more than three decades of violence in the British-controlled province between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists seeking union with Ireland and predominantly Protestant unionists who want to remain part of the United Kingdom.

However militant nationalists, who include former operatives who split from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) after it declared a ceasefire, still stage sporadic gun and bomb attacks and have targeted security forces in particular.

Reporting by Ian Graham; Editing by Padraic Halpin and Stephen Powell

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