“It was a remarkably good aim if you consider that the bomb was fired 250 yards [across Whitehall] with no direct line of sight. Technically, it was quite brilliant and I’m sure that many army crews, if given a similar task, would be very pleased to drop a bomb that close. You’ve got to park the launch vehicle in an area which is guarded by armed men and you’ve got less than a minute to do it. I was very, very surprised at how good it was. If the angle of fire had been moved about five or ten degrees, then those bombs would actually have impacted on Number Ten.”
Peter Gurney — Head of the Explosives Section of the Anti-Terrorist Branch
The Downing Street mortar attack was carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on February 7 1991. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: On This Day — The Brighton Bombing (October 12 1984)
The IRA launched homemade mortar shells at 10 Downing Street, London, the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
It was an attempt to assassinate Prime Minister John Major and his War Cabinet, who were meeting to discuss the Gulf War.
One of the heavy mortar shells exploded in the back garden of number 10, only yards from the cabinet office.
Due to the bomb-proof windows, none of the cabinet were hurt, though four other people received minor injuries, including two police officers.
IRA Mortar Attack – 10 Downing Street, London (1991)
Downing Street mortar attack — Wikipedia
On This Day — IRA Launches Mortar shells at 10 Downing Street (February 7 1991)