March 14, 1997 in Nation/World

Bombs Target Police, Soldiers In N. Ireland

Compiled From Wire Services

Two explosive devices directed at security patrols in Belfast injured three people Thursday, the army said.

An explosion late Thursday night in Short Strand, an east Belfast Roman Catholic enclave, injured a policeman and a soldier on foot patrol, police said.

Earlier, security forces said a grenade was fired at the joint army-police mobile patrol in the Ardoyne, a Roman Catholic sector of Belfast.

A member of the 2nd Battalion Royal Tank Regiment was hurt when the device struck the side of the Land-Rover. The force of the blast blew an armored panel off the side of the vehicle.

The area was sealed off and police made an unspecified number of arrests, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland’s police force, said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on the Irish Republican Army, which has renewed its attacks on security targets in Northern Ireland as part of its campaign of violence to drive the British out of the province.

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