IRA car bomb targets Belfast's top shopping mall

11/25/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
A view of the Victoria Square Shopping complex in the centre of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A view of the Victoria Square Shopping complex in the centre of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

BELFAST, Northern Ireland  — A suspected Irish Republican Army car bomb targeting Belfast’s biggest shopping center has failed to detonate. But police say the driver ordered to deliver the bomb has been traumatized, and security in the Northern Ireland capital is being increased in the run-up to Christmas.

Police evacuated a cinema, restaurants and apartments connected to the Victoria Square complex after the car containing about 130 pounds of homemade explosive was abandoned Sunday night at the entrance to the shopping center’s underground parking lot. The alert snarled rush-hour traffic Monday.

Police say the bomb’s detonator was triggered before British Army experts could dismantle the device, but explosives packed inside a barrel failed to detonate.

No group claimed responsibility, but police and politicians blamed IRA extremists opposed to the group’s 1997 cease-fire.