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Bomb attack on N. Irish army base, no injuries

world Updated: Oct 22, 2009 19:31 IST

A bomb exploded at a British army base in Northern Ireland on Thursday, officials said, causing no injuries but serving as a growing reminder of dissident Irish Republican activity in the British province.

Nearby residents reported hearing a loud blast at 1 a.m. local time (midnight GMT) at the base of the British Territorial Army, a reserve force. Local media said civilian guards were on duty at the barracks at the time and no army personnel were believed to be inside.

A police statement said experts examined a suspicious object found after reports of an explosion in the early hours of the morning, but did not provide further details.

"In North Belfast we have witnessed an escalation of dissident Republican terrorist activity," Nigel Dodds, the local member of British parliament from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said.

"I believe the same criminal elements are responsible for this incident."

A 1998 peace agreement mostly ended decades of fighting known as "The Troubles" that killed 3,600 people in Northern Ireland but sporadic violence still occurs.

Republican party Sinn Fein, which shares the executive with the DUP, condemned Thursday's attack.

"Whatever group was responsible they need to realise that they will not succeed in their attempts to derail the peace process," Sinn Fein Councilor Tierna Cunningham said in a statement.