At Least Three Security Force Personnel Killed In Two Bomb Blasts
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) _ Bombs exploded simultaneously at two checkpoints early Wednesday, killing at least three security force members and injuring 20 people, most of them soldiers, authorities said.
One of the bombings struck a checkpoint at the village of Killeen on the border with the Republic of Ireland, 40 miles south of Belfast, police headquarters said in a statement.
The post is on the main road between Belfast and Dublin.
The second checkpoint hit, also on the border with Ireland, is near Londonderry, 65 miles northwest of Belfast.
The British domestic news agency Press Association quoted unnamed sources in the security forces as saying the two attacks appeared to have been coordinated.
No group immediately claimed responsibility but suspicion inevitably fell on Irish Republican Army, which is fighting British rule in Northern Ireland.
The mainly Roman Catholic IRA wants to unite the predominantly Protestant province with the 95 percent Republic of Ireland under socialist rule.
Both checkpoints have been attacked by guerrillas several times in the past.
At Altnagelvin Hospital, staff treating casualties from the attack near Londonderry said two people were dead on arrival there.
They said eight more had been admitted, six of them in serious condition, and another seven were expected.
Mervyn Ferris, the unit administrator at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry near Killeen, said one person was killed in the Killeen attack and that seven other people were being treated at the hospital for cuts, bruises and shock.