Officer car bomb 'intended to kill'

A viable bomb has been found under the car of an off-duty police officer in Belfast

A viable bomb has been found under the car of an off-duty police officer in Belfast

An army bomb disposal expert moves in to examine a booby trap bomb found under a policeman's car in Belfast

First published in National News © by

A booby trap bomb placed under the car of a policeman in Northern Ireland was clearly intended to kill, a police commander has said.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton blamed dissident republicans for the murder bid in east Belfast.

The latest attack by violent extremists opposed to the peace process has been met by widespread condemnation.

The viable explosive device was found by the officer around 2pm on Sunday. His car was parked at his home on the Upper Newtownards Road - a busy arterial route into the city centre.

The scene, which remained sealed off as the security and forensic operation continued, is close to PSNI headquarters at Knock and the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.

Mr Hamilton said: "It is very fortunate that this device was detected before it exploded and that no one was killed or seriously injured. Initial investigations would indicate that this was a viable device placed below an officer's car some time in the last 48 hours. It was clearly intended to kill the police officer."

Mr Hamilton added: "Attacks on police officers are attacks on the entire community and cannot be allowed to continue. We know there are people within our communities who know who did this, we know there are people out there who know exactly what is being planned.

"My plea to them is not to allow this small minority to drag us back to the past. Our belief is that this attempted murder was carried by those opposed to peace from within dissident republicanism."

Police want to hear from anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity on the Upper Newtownards Road between the junction of Cabinhill Park and Knock Road between Friday afternoon and lunchtime on Sunday.

Detectives can be contacted on 0845 600 8000 or information can be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111.

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