Evacuations are underway in Londonderry, also known as Derry, (Northern Ireland) as of 21:45 (local time) on Saturday, January 19, following a suspected vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) explosion. Security forces had received a warning and were already on the scene when the detonation occurred; no injuries have been reported. Police are investigating the blast, which occurred on Bishop Street near the city courthouse, along with a second suspicious vehicle. A heightened security presence is expected in the city in the coming hours.
Londonderry was a focal point of the Northern Irish Troubles, a violent conflict between Irish nationalists and Unionists. An estimated 3500 people were killed and nearly 50,000 others wounded in the conflict from the 1960s until 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement was signed. Sporadic low-level violence continues in the region.
Individuals in Londonderry, and Northern Ireland more broadly, are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions (e.g. evacuation orders, road closures) issued by local authorities, anticipate localized disruptions and a heightened security presence, and remain vigilant for suspicious objects or behavior.
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