Five major stores were destroyed and almost a dozen others were damaged in a massive Irish Republican Army firebomb attack in Northern Ireland late Friday and early Saturday, the Royal Ulster Constabulary said.

The IRA claimed responsibility for the destruction, which caused an estimated $9.7 million in damage. The blasts occurred late at night and in the pre-dawn hours while the stores were empty and there were no reports of deaths or injuries, the constabulary said.Forty-five fire crews fought the blazes in Belfast and two other neighboring towns, Lisburn and Newton Abbey, as 90 mph winds swept Northern Ireland.

Police said the fires were started by a new type of incendiary bomb designed by the IRA, and have warned that the group plans to attack other major commercial targets.