Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Military defuses bomb in Ireland ahead of Queen's historic visit

Irish military defused a bomb Tuesday on a bus headed to Dublin, ahead of a historic visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to the city.

The military stopped a private bus in Maynooth, evacuated the passengers and found a "viable device" in the luggage compartment of the bus early Tuesday morning, a spokesman for the Irish national police said.

Later Tuesday morning, Irish authorities raced to the scene of a second suspicious device -- but it was later determined to be a hoax. Authorities responded to at least one report of a suspicious package in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The British foreign office said the Queen's visit will go ahead as planned.

It is a visit that many in Ireland believed would never happen, and will mark the reconciliation between two neighboring countries that once viewed each with suspicion and hostility. .

Ireland's fight to free itself from its former imperial master is likely to form much of the narrative of the visit, the first by a UK monarch to the republic since it gained independence in 1921.

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