Explosives thrown in the house of former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

BELFAST (Reuters) – An explosive device was thrown into the house of former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams overnight in Northern Ireland, the Irish National Party said on Saturday in an attack that accused them of "increasingly desperate and irrelevant groups".

FILE PHOTO: Gerry Adams speaking at an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 10, 2018. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne / File Photo

A second device was thrown into the home of former Northern Ireland chairman Bobby Storey, the party said in a statement.

Sinn Fein said one of the explosives damaged a car. Adams said in a Twitter post that no one was injured in the attack on his house.

The Belfast attacks came after days of street violence in Northern Ireland's second city, Londonderry, which accused the police of militant Irish nationalists who were against a 1998 peace treaty that helped Adams mediate.

The peace treaty largely ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland between Irish nationalists who wanted the region to join the Republic of Ireland and pro-British unionists who wanted them to remain British. More than 3,000 died in violence.

Several groups of Irish dissidents are active and occasionally launch attacks, but their capacity is tiny compared to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which shut down its arms after the 1998 deal.

Many of the dissidents consider Adams and his Sinn Fein Party – the former political wing of the IRA – as traitors to the Irish nationalist cause by signing a peace agreement with the British government.

Political leaders in Northern Ireland have warned that Britain's decision to leave the European Union and use the infrastructure on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the first time since 1998 could help dissident groups to recruit new members.

The police on Friday accused the dissident group including the Real IRA for several nights of violence in Londonderry.

On Friday, during the street violence in the city, 74 petrol bombs and two improvised explosive devices were thrown. The chief of police of Northern Ireland, Chief Constable George Hamilton, said he had tried to assassinate police officers.

A spokeswoman said on Saturday that police visited incidents in two locations in West Belfast, but did not provide any details.

Reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin and Ian Graham in Belfast; Editing by Mark Potter

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