12:06 07 December 2012
Two bombs were found hours before American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived for her scheduled visit. Mrs. Clinton is due to give a press conference early Friday afternoon, after her meeting with First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland at Stormont.
Police found the two bombs in Londonderry and County Down on Thursday night. They retrieved the first bomb before it was set off after stopping a car, with the second bomb being discovered hours later in a postbox in Clough, County Down.
The first device is thought to be a viable bomb, and was discovered as police were reportedly investigating activity by dissident republicans. It is understood that the army were called in to help defuse one of the devices.
Based on reports, four men have been arrested in connection with the bombs and it is thought they are dissident republicans.
The news comes following this week’s controversy in Northern Ireland, where there are concerns over the restriction of flying the Union flag over Belfast City Hall. There have been protests carried out because the number of days the flag can be made visible has been reduced.
It is understood that Loyalists have been in opposition to this across the country.
Mrs. Clinton, who is expected to also visit the new Titanic Centre on Friday, arrived in Belfast due to a European trip that is set to last for four days. Having already visited Northern Ireland, this will mark her third trip as Secretary of State before stepping down in 2013.
She has visited the country with her husband Bill Clinton, the previous American president, who helped with peace settlements in the 1990s.
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