Northern Irish police report suspected car bomb in Londonderry

Two people were arrested in Northern Ireland over a car bomb attack in Londonderry. Police are investigating whether the New IRA is responsible.

BELFAST (REUTERS) - Police in Northern Ireland reported a suspected car bombing in Londonderry on Saturday (Jan 19) that local politicians said had caused no apparent injuries as people were urged to stay away from the area.

An image released by police on Twitter showed what appeared to be a burning vehicle in Bishop Street in the centre of the city.

Two local politicians said the suspected blast occurred outside the city's courthouse.

"This pointless act of terror must be condemned in the strongest terms. Grateful to our emergency services for their swift actions which helped ensure there have been no fatalities or injuries," Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster said on Twitter.

Her party colleague from the area, Gary Middleton, said police had confirmed to him that there were no injuries.

He added that the vehicle was hijacked, without citing a source.

Northern Irish police gave no further details and said they were carrying out initial investigations.

A 1998 peace deal mostly ended three decades of conflict that killed 3,600 people and was fought between mainly Protestant unionists who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom and predominantly Catholic nationalists.

Some sporadic violence continues among small, splinter groups but car bombings are rare in the British-run province.