AFP President Biden’s arrival in Belfast
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 23:22
US President Joe Biden has arrived in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. Biden is making a four-day visit to Northern Ireland and Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended the strife between Catholics and Protestants in 1998. Biden was received by British Prime Minister Sunak.
It is currently unsettled in Northern Ireland and the police fear possible attacks and violence. Earlier today, four “suspected pipe bombs” were found in a cemetery 60 miles from Belfast, police said. Pipe bombs have also been used in the past by the militant movements in Northern Ireland. Chief of Police Bobby Singleton called the find a “sinister and disturbing development.”
Police are linking the find to an attack in Londonderry (called Derry by Catholics) yesterday. During an unannounced protest march by pro-Irish nationalists against the Good Friday Agreement, masked people threw Molotov cocktails, among other things, at a police car. The attackers burned their clothes on the spot where pipe bombs have now been found, the police said.
The police were pelted again today in another place. Two vehicles were damaged, but no injuries were reported.
Threat level ‘severe’
The British security service MI5 raised the threat level for domestic terrorism in Northern Ireland to ‘severe’ two weeks ago. That means an attack is “highly likely”. The security service did not connect this to the celebration of the 25-year truce of the Good Friday Agreement or Biden’s visit.
Biden previously said about the increased unrest that it will not prevent him from visiting Northern Ireland. “They can’t keep me away,” he said.
Due to the visit of the US president, several roads around Belfast have been closed.