Pipe bomb 'bid to murder police'
Published 31/01/2013 | 14:16
A pipe bomb attack on a police patrol in Belfast was a reckless attempt to kill, a senior officer has said.
Dissident republicans have been blamed for throwing the viable device as the armoured Landrover made its way along Oldpark Road in the north of the city on Wednesday night.
Superintendent George Clarke said: "This is absolutely and clearly an attempt to murder police officers.
"It not only shows a willingness and determination to kill people who are serving the community but it also shows complete disregard for the people living in that area.
"We are extremely fortunate. These devices are designed, intended and capable of killing."
Up to 20 families were evacuated during the late night alert. The PSNI said officers received a telephone call at about 10.15pm claiming that a bomb had been thrown at officers but had not detonated.
The device, which was later defused by Army bomb experts, was discovered during a follow up search operation at Rosapenna Street. It was removed for forensic examination.
Less than 24 hours earlier, the dissident splinter Oglaigh na hEireann said it had left a pipe bomb close to a community centre at Greater Whitewell Road, also in north Belfast.
Superintendent Clarke added: "Clearly we are worried about this but we are resolute in our determination to deliver policing. We know we have the community support."
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has condemned those responsible. He said: "These are the actions of people seeking to undermine law and order and to destabilise society through acts of violence. Their actions will only reinforce the determination across society not to give in to such terrorism."