Paramilitaries accused of 'extortion' after Derry bomb attack

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Media captionThe van was taken away for forensic examination

A Londonderry woman has accused paramilitaries of running an "extortion racket" after her mother's home was targeted in a bomb attack.

Kathleen Coyle claimed republicans demanded cash from her family just days before a device was left in a van outside their home in Drumard Park.

Her 77-year-old mother was in the house when the device exploded on Sunday morning.

Ms Coyle said a family member was also ordered out of the city two weeks ago.

"If you don't pay money to certain people then you're getting targeted and if that's the case there's a lot of grandparents and parents in Derry who are going to suffer.

"They're definitely paramilitaries without a doubt. They didn't mention which group they represented but at the end of the day these boys only want money to feed their own habit or buy more guns, they want to extort people."

Image caption Kathleen Coyle said her mother suffers from ill health

Kathleen Coyle said her mother was in bed when the small bomb exploded.

"My brother had parked his van outside the front and there was a loud noise like a bang and she discovered the van was either on fire or was going to be.

"She was afraid to leave the house and didn't know if anyone was outside or if somebody was going to take over the house. She was basically trapped."

Ms Coyle said her mother has been in and out of the hospital over the last couple of years with a chronic heart condition and that she also has a pacemaker.

"She is still in shock. She's just realised the impact of what could of happened after seeing the damage done to the driver's seat of the van.

"If that van had been more extensively damaged then it would have been ablaze and I don't think we would have been coming here to take her out of the house, not living anyway.

"It wouldn't have been a van we were taking away it would have been a body.

"We were lucky this time but who's going to be next?"

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