'New IRA' Claims Responsibility For Belfast Bomb Attack

04/03/2016_Belfast Bomb
Forensic officers inspect a van following a car bomb attack on a prison officer in Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 4 2016. The New IRA has claimed responsibility. Getty/ Charles McQuillan / Stringer

The New IRA has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in Northern Ireland, according to reports. ''

The dissident republican group, which calls itself the IRA but is widely referred to as the New IRA, said it was responsible for the attempted murder of a 52-year-old prison officer, the BBC reported.

An explosive device partially detonated under the man's van on Friday as he drove over a speed ramp. He is reported to be in hospital in a stable condition.

Three men aged 34, 41 and 45 and a 34-year-old woman have reportedly been arrested.

The group claimed that the prison officer was one of a list of targets, and that he was attacked because he had a role in training other officers to work in a wing of County Antrim's Maghaberry Prison that houses republicans.

The New IRA, like the Continuity IRA , is a dissident republican successor organization to the Provisional IRA, the group that sought to unify Ireland by violent means, before laying down its arms in 1997, before the 1998 Good Friday agreement between the British and Irish governments, unionists and republicans.

So-called dissident republicans do not accept the terms of the peace deal and pledge to continue the sectarian violence that has raged across Ireland throughout the latter half of the 20th century.

A surge in dissident republican violence is feared on both sides of the Irish border ahead of the March 27 centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a republican insurrection against British rule.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, told The Daily Telegraph : "I believe there are people within dissident republican groupings who want to mark this centenary by killing police officers, prison officers and soldiers."The 'New IRA' has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in Northern Ireland, according to reports.

The dissident republican group, which calls itself the IRA but is widely referred to as the New IRA, said it was responsible for the attempted murder of a 52-year-old prison officer, the BBC reported.

An explosive device partially detonated under the man's van on Friday as he drove over a speed ramp. He is reported to be in hospital in a stable condition.

Three men aged 34, 41 and 45 and a 34-year-old woman have reportedly been arrested.

The group claimed that the prison officer was one of a list of targets, and that he was attacked because he had a role in training other officers to work in a wing of County Antrim's Maghaberry Prison that houses republicans.

The New IRA, like the Continuity IRA, is a dissident republican successor organization to the Provisional IRA, the group that sought to unify Ireland by violent means, before laying down its arms in 1997, before the 1998 Good Friday agreement between the British and Irish governments, unionists and republicans.

So-called dissident republicans do not accept the terms of the peace deal and pledge to continue the sectarian violence that has raged across Ireland throughout the latter half of the 20th century.

A surge in dissident republican violence is feared on both sides of the Irish border ahead of the March 27 centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a republican insurrection against British rule.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, told The Daily Telegraph: "I believe there are people within dissident republican groupings who want to mark this centenary by killing police officers, prison officers and soldiers."