“IRA” claim responsibility for Oxford bomb scare

A group claiming to be the IRA has announced its responsibility for explosive devices sent to army offices in Oxford last week.

The group made the claim in a message received by a Northern Irish media outlet last Saturday.

In a statement, the police acknowledged that the group used a “recognised codeword”.

A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said: “We are aware of claims of responsibility for the devices that were sent to army recruitment offices in centres of England last week.”

“The claim was received on Saturday, 15 February […] the claim was allegedly made on behalf of the ‘IRA'”.

These reports follow events last Thursday in which four suspected explosive devices were sent to offices in Oxford, Slough, Kent and Brighton.

Police evacuated St.Giles, and closed off the road for a number of hours while bomb disposal units investigated the packages.

One of the devices reportedly bore a Republic of Ireland postmark and Downing Street announced late last week that the bombs possessed all “the hallmarks of Northern Ireland-related terrorism”.

An Irish News outlet reported an ‘IRA’ statement which said: “The IRA claims responsibility for the explosive devices that were sent to british armed recruitment centres in England. Attacks will continue when and where the IRA see fit.”

Following an end to its armed campaign in 2005, the IRA disbanded. However, the New IRA formed shortly before the London Olympics in 2012.

The bombs have sparked cross-party condemnation in Northern Ireland. Martin McGuiness, deputy first minister called it “an attack on the peace process”, adding “those responsible belong in the past. Their actions must be condemned.”