Northern Ireland

Explosive device used on ATM at Hamiltonsbawn, County Armagh

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Media captionThe device caused extensive damage to the machine at the Costcutter shop in Hamiltonsbawn

Thieves have tried to break into a cash machine in County Armagh by placing an explosive device on it.

The device exploded about 02:30 BST on Thursday, causing extensive damage to the machine at the Costcutter shop in Hamiltonsbawn.

Police went to the scene after receiving reports of a loud bang and suspicious activity near the ATM. An Army bomb team made the device safe.

The gang had used spray paint to black out security lights close to the ATM.

It is not yet clear if any money was taken.

Detectives believe the gang drove off towards Markethill.

Police said a black Audi car was found abandoned on Gosford Road a short time later.

Appealing for information, a police spokeswoman said detectives were "particularly keen to hear from anyone who noticed a Volkswagen Passat or black Audi car, travelling between Hamiltonsbawn and Newry, prior to and after this incident".