Suspicious parcel in Ireland appears identical to explosive devices sent to UK, say Irish police

Suspicious parcel in Ireland appears identical to explosive devices sent to UK, say Irish police

A suspicious parcel discovered in the west of Ireland appears to be identical to parcels containing improvised explosive devices that were sent to addresses in London and Glasgow more than two weeks ago, Irish police said.

A bomb squad was called to a postal sorting office in Limerick shortly after 6 a.m. local time on Friday after reports of a suspicious item.

“This parcel appears to be identical to parcels (pending closer forensic and ballistic examination) discovered earlier this month in London and Glasgow. The Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) team are currently at the scene,” the Gardai, as the Irish police are known, said in a statement.

The Gardai said it continues to liaise with the UK authorities in relation to these investigations.

UK devices

A group calling itself the IRA previously claimed responsibility for sending five packages containing improvised explosive devices to the UK earlier in March, but British police said they had only recovered four.

On March 5, three devices were sent to major London transport hubs — Waterloo Station and offices at Heathrow and City Airports — in what police said appeared to be part of a “linked series.”

All the devices were judged to be viable, and the package sent to Heathrow Airport burst into flames after being opened by staff. Nobody was injured by the devices and no arrests have been made.

The packages were posted with Irish stamps and had return addresses in Dublin, prompting Irish police to join the investigation. The packages were all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow padded bags, which were capable of igniting when opened.

Police Scotland confirmed that a controlled explosion was carried out on the package found at the University of Glasgow on March 6 as a precautionary measure.

The Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland said in a joint statement that the devices “bore similarities” to past packages “linked to dissident groups associated with Northern Ireland related terrorism,” and that “officers were already looking at this as a line of enquiry.”

The devices did not cause any injuries or damage.