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IRA claims responsibility for British rail attack

March 28, 1997
Web posted at: 9:59 a.m. EST (1459 GMT)

LONDON (CNN) -- The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility Friday for a bomb attack on a major rail artery in northern England that tore up track, disrupted rail service and destroyed signaling equipment.

The claim was made in a phone call to Ireland's semi-state RTE broadcasting network, using a recognized code word.

The twin explosions on Wednesday raised fears of an IRA bombing campaign in Britain, ahead of May 1 general elections.

No one was injured in the bombing.

The explosions in Wilmslow, a major junction on Britain's western north-south rail artery 160 miles (256 km) north of London, seemed pinpointed to cause maximum economic damage, recalling previous IRA attacks in London's business district.

The disruption of rail service will spoil travel for the Easter holiday weekend.

The IRA has fought British rule of Northern Ireland for 28 years. The group has demanded entry into Belfast peace talks, a request refused by Britain until the IRA ends its violent campaign altogether.


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