The mortar attack on a British army barracks in Germany bears the hallmarks of the IRA, officials said Saturday.
Federal police were ordered to investigate Friday’s attack because of suspicions that it was the work of a terrorist organization, said a spokesman for the chief federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe, Rolf Hannich.
“The target of the attack and the way it was carried out indicate the (Irish Republican Army) was involved,” Hannich said.
British Prime Minister John Major, at an economic summit in Lyon, France, also blamed the IRA for the attack.
There was no immediate comment from the IRA, though Gerry Adams, leader of the group’s political allies, said Saturday that the attack “should act as a spur on political leaders to work even harder to restore the peace process.”
No one was injured by the mortars fired from the back of a white Ford Transit truck covered with a blue tarpaulin, but the explosion did considerable damage to buildings and vehicles.
Only one of the three mortars blew up, leaving a 3-foot-wide crater about 30 yards inside the barracks’ fence. The other two mortars were disarmed by investigators, who said they were typical of self-made IRA weapons.
The IRA has launched sporadic attacks on British military installations in continental Europe during its campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland.