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Monday, 30 June 2008

Grenade exploded in south Dublin yesterday morning as gang warfare restarts


11:24 |

A rock was used to smash the front door window of the family home in Drimnagh, before the grenade was thrown into the property.The attack occurred about 20 minutes after the family had gone to bed. They had been watching television until 2am. The grenade was identified as being a lethal Yugoslav fragmentation device, which exploded with such ferocity that shards of metal riddled radiators and walls throughout the house, even reaching as far as the attic.The indentations in the walls were described as "bullet-like".Garda sources said the attack was the latest violent incident in a murderous feud between south Dublin gangs. It followed an attack on another house in Drimnagh last week in which a grandmother was shot and a baby narrowly escaped injury. There was also an attack on the home of two elderly grandparents.Garda sources said it was a miracle the four adults and two children asleep in the property were not seriously injured or killed in yesterday morning's attack.
The intended target --a suspected associate of the leader of one of the warring gangs -- was not at home.A red Fiat Punto, later found burnt out nearby, is being examined by forensics experts to see if it was used in the grenade assault.
Garda sources say innocent relatives, including parents and children of gang members, are now being seen as legitimate targets in the feuding as leaders of the factions and their henchmen protect themselves with tight security.
The south city residential enclaves of Crumlin and Drimnagh have been embroiled in a long-running feud between drugs gangs. One faction, led by drug dealer, Freddie Thompson, is at war with another gang, whose leader is behind bars but still thought to be directing his associates. They have access to guns and ammunitions, such as pipe bombs and grenades, some supplied by former dissident republicans. At least 10 lives have been claimed so far and scores more people have been injured.
Last week's cycle of violence began on Tuesday, when gunmen pulled up at a house in Knocknarea Avenue, in Drimnagh, and fired shots through the front door.
A grandmother in her 50s, who police said was an innocent bystander, was shot in the shoulder as she cradled an eight-month-old infant. She was released from St James Hospital on Friday where she was treated for her injuries. Later that night, in an undisguised act of revenge, gunmen opened fire on an elderly couple's home in The Coombe area at 11.30pm. The house of the couple -- innocent relatives of one of the gang leaders -- was shot at three times.
The next day, another gun attack followed on three suspected gang members who were in a car on Galtymore Road, Drimnagh. The intended targets managed to escape.
Gardai sought to prevent further retaliatory attacks by launching dawn raids on the feuding gangs on Thursday morning. Around 100 detectives conducted 36 searches on homes and apartments used by the gang members and their associates


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