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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Britain Decries Bombing

BELFAST -- Britain on Monday condemned a suspected Protestant guerrilla attack that sent the Northern Ireland peace process into crisis but refused to say if it would mean expulsion of Loyalist parties from peace talks.

Pro-British Loyalists, who have observed a two-year truce in their fight against Catholic Irish nationalists, were widely blamed for Sunday's booby-trap bomb that wounded a well-known Irish republican. So far no group has admitted the attack.

"Whoever did this, did a disgraceful and disgusting act and one which has to be unequivocally condemned," Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew told the BBC.

Mayhew declined specifically to blame Loyalists, but he indicated suspicion centered on the extremists who killed hundreds of minority Catholics during a 25-year war to preserve British rule in the province.

The attack which injured Eddie Copeland, a 25-year-old Irish republican, was widely seen as a reprisal for an attack by Irish Republican Army gunmen in a children's hospital on Friday.