Northern Ireland

Mary Peoples on moment pipe bomb landed on her bed

Mary Peoples
Image caption Mary Peoples was lying in bed reading when the pipe bomb smashed through her window

A pensioner has been speaking about the terrifying moment when a pipe bomb was thrown through her bedroom window and landed beside her on her bed.

Mary Peoples, 65, screamed in fear before her son picked up the device and threw it outside her house at Melmount Villas, Strabane, County Tyrone.

She told BBC Newsline she felt lucky to be alive after it failed to explode.

Police have blamed the "reckless" attack on dissident republicans and are treating it as attempted murder.

Image caption The pipe bomb left a mark on the wall but did not explode

It happened on Sunday evening but officers said hey were only alerted almost 24 hours later.

The device was made safe by the Army's bomb disposal unit and has been taken away for further examination.

Image caption Forensic investigators examined the scene on Tuesday

Ms Peoples was lying in bed reading when the pipe bomb smashed through her window.

"It could have been murder," she said, expressing concern for the safety of her grandchildren who often stay in her house.

"Two of the children could have been in that room, because they are up here visiting a lot and they come into the bedroom.

"They could have been lying in that bed, it could have hit one of them."

Ms Peoples said she had no idea why her home was targeted.

'New low'

Chf Insp Alan Hutton said: "This is stooping to a new low and I feel for the lady today, when she thinks through what could have happened.

"Thankfully, it didn't explode, or we could have been looking at something very different today."

Image caption Chief Insp Alan Hutton has launched an attempted murder investigation

He added: "This area has vulnerable and elderly people. I'm sure people will understand the shock in this community.

"I will point the blame at violent dissident republicans.

"Those who threw this device have clearly no regard for the people living here.

"This is a very small minority of people in Northern Ireland who have carried out this attack and I am appealing for the community's support in identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to justice."