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Explosion reported near N. Ireland police station

Explosion September 16, 1997
Web posted at: 7:55 a.m. EDT (1155 GMT)

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- Police in Northern Ireland said an explosion caused extensive damage Tuesday just outside a police station in the town of Markethill, near Portadown and south of Belfast.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from the noontime blast, which followed an uncoded warning and came as police were evacuating the area.

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A police spokesperson told CNN a warning had been telephoned to media in Belfast about a van parked near the station.

"At two minutes to 12 (1058 GMT) this vehicle exploded. There was substantial damage to the police station and surrounding area. We have no reports of casualties," a police source was quoted as saying.

The blast occurred on the second day of multi-party talks on the future of the British province. On Monday, Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, was admitted to the talks.

Sinn Fein gained access to the talks after the IRA declared a unilateral cease-fire.

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