Experts defuse car bomb
British Army experts defused a car bomb Saturday that had been abandoned on a rural roadside in Northern Ireland, a threat that is raising concerns about the region’s hosting of the G8 summit later this year. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the car contained a beer keg packed with about 130 pounds of homemade explosives. Metal kegs often have been used in the construction of Irish Republican Army-style bombs because they are easily portable and produce showers of shrapnel when detonated. If traced to the group, it would be the third foiled IRA attack on police installations this month, following two attempted mortar attacks on police stations in Northern Ireland’s two major cities, Londonderry and Belfast.
New bells chime in Paris
Thousands have gathered outside Notre Dame Cathedral to hear the inaugural ringing of nine gargantuan new bells at the Paris landmark. The bells, the largest of which weighs in at 6½ tons, were ordered for the cathedral’s 850th birthday — to replace the discordant “ding dang” of the previous four 19th century chimes. Saturday was the first time the bells have been rung since they were delivered to the cathedral in late January. They join the cathedral’s oldest surviving bell, named Emmanuel, to restore the 10-bell harmony originally conceived for Notre Dame’s bell towers. Onlooker Jean-Claude Blanchard says, “It was a stirring moment, a nice sound that we won’t forget because these [bells] will stay for centuries and we were here today.”
Extremists attack city
Islamic extremists infiltrated and attacked the northern Malian city of Gao, the mayor and residents said late Saturday. It was the third major attack on the town since it was liberated by French forces in January. The assault indicates that the radical Islamists remain entrenched and able to attack despite the thousands of French troops who have liberated most of northern Mali’s towns from control by the extremists.
Compiled from wire reports.