UK & World News

  • 15 March 2014, 22:05

Bomb Attack On Belfast Police Land Rover

Officers in Northern Ireland have escaped serious injury in a bomb attack on a police Land Rover.

A passing car was badly damaged in the blast outside the City Cemetery in West Belfast. 

Four people inside the car - including three children aged 16, 13 and 11 - were treated for shock, but there were no serious injuries.

It was originally reported that the bomb was thrown at the police vehicle.

But the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) now say the bomb was left in the area and detonated by a command wire.

The blast blew a chunk of masonry out of a wall at the cemetery, which is at the junction of Falls Road and Whiterock Road and is one of Belfast's oldest public cemeteries.

Superintendent Barbara Gray said: "This was not only a deliberate attempt to kill police officers, but was an attack on the community of West Belfast, and it is only through good fortune that no-one, either police or civilian was seriously injured or killed."

Officers were urged to tighten security after another bomb was found under a car a few miles away, at Blacks Road, not far from Woodbourne police station.

It fell from the vehicle and failed to explode, and even though the target has not been identified, the PSNI has not ruled out the possibility it was meant for one of their officers.

Dissident republicans have been blamed for planting the explosives in what appears to have been a deliberate attempt to embarrass Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson.

Mr Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are in Washington to meet senior members of the Obama administration as part of St Patrick's Day celebrations.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "This attack is a blatant disregard not just for lives of police officers but also for safety of whole community in west Belfast.

"It should be condemned by all right-thinking people."