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We sent parcel bombs, claim ‘IRA’ dissidents

Made safe: The parcel bomb sent to the Compass Centre at Heathrow PICTURE: PA

A GROUP of Irish dissidents which claims to be the IRA says it is responsible for four parcel bombs found at targets including Heathrow Airport last week, adding that a fifth has still not been found.

Its message sent to the Belfast-based Irish News yesterday, using a recognised code word, said a package found at Glasgow university had been intended for an army recruitment officer who works there.

It said the fifth parcel had also been sent to an army recruiter.

Ireland’s justice minister Charlie Flanagan said he was ‘deeply concerned’ that paramilitaries were claiming to be behind the attacks.

‘These are the actions of those who are without any vision for a peaceful future on Northern Ireland,’ he added.

The Metropolitan Police said they were ‘keeping an open mind’. Parcels were sent on March 5 to the Compass Centre at Heathrow, the post room at London’s Waterloo station and offices at the capital’s City Airport. The Glasgow parcel was found the next day.

The Heathrow package was opened but the device inside only caused the envelope and jiffy bag containing it to catch light. All the other parcels were flagged up as suspicious and dealt with by police.

The Provisional IRA, which waged a terror campaign during The Troubles, declared a ceasefire in 1997.

But spin-off groups including the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA have continued with violence and threats.

Security experts said yesterday the New IRA was likely to blame for the parcels and probably planned further ‘low-level’ disruption.