Ardoyne device 'attempt to kill police'

Published Wednesday, 10 July 2013
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The discovery of a viable device in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast has been described by a senior police officer as "a blatant attempt" to kill or seriously injure police officers.

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Police were in Alliance Avenue on Tuesday afternoon when the device was found. They were conducting follow up inquiries after receiving reports of shots heard in the area the previous day.

A number of holes were found in a window of a property and a suspicious object was found inside, sparking the security operation.

Around 30 homes were evacuated while army bomb experts carried out a controlled explosion.

North Belfast Area Commander, Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn, said: "Those who carried out this heinous act have shown callous disregard for the safety of the community and the police officers serving this community.

"We are very fortunate this evening that no-one was killed or seriously injured as this occurred in a residential area putting the lives of those living here at serious risk.

This was a blatant attempt to kill or seriously injure officers who were following up inquiries received into reports of shots being heard in the area."

PSNI Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn

Alliance Avenue was reopened to traffic shortly before midnight.

Alban Maginness, SDLP MLA for North Belfast, told UTV: "Clearly this was an attempt to either seriously injure police officers or to murder them - and that is deplorable given the tense situation leading up to the Twelfth.

"I think this is a deliberate attempt to be provocative and cause as much problems as possible in the area."

Alliance councillor John Blair also condemned the discovery.

"This was a despicable act and I whole heartedly condemn those behind this device in north Belfast."

He said the perpetrators had shown "absolutely no regard" for the residents within the community.

"As it stands 30 families faced the disruption of having to leave their homes for a time, however this could have played out a lot worse.

"The community will not be intimidated and those intent on causing division and destruction will not succeed."

The groups responsible for these sporadic attacks are without mandate or vision and represent no one.

Gerry Kelly, SF MLA

Ross Hussey MLA , the UUP's Policing Board spokesperson, said: "The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want to look to a future in which we build a society and an economy here that we can all be proud of and in which all our people can have a peaceful and prosperous future.

"Those fascists who cannot accept that must be rooted out and placed where they cannot inflict their poison on the rest of us. Their day has gone."

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said there was no reason or justification for the attempted bomb attack on police.

"The people of Ardoyne do not support this. Thankfully no one was hurt in the attempted attack. The only people affected were residents who had to leave their homes," the North Belfast MLA said.

"The people responsible need to come forward and give an explanation for their actions, there is no strategy or logic for what they are doing."

The PSNI are appealing for anyone who saw any suspect activity - or suspicious vehicles - in the area or who has any information to come forward.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
6 Comments
Big Jim in Fermanagh wrote (280 days ago):
Dozens of pro and anti posts about parades but not one re attempted murder of police officers. Says it all about our country!
Keith in Portadown wrote (281 days ago):
Where are GARC in response to this. This is one of the very real issues that the residents of the Ardoyne need to be worrying about rather than causing mayhem because a group of people who practice a different religion are walking past, not through, the area in which they live. Get real and try to make your community better by weeding out those who are actually putting your community's lives in danger.
TMcM in London wrote (281 days ago):
So, shots fired which appear to have hit a residence in the area. Then a "viable device" left in the area. All of which sounds, well, a bit life-threatening. But not a cheep from the many who posted re the 12th parade etc. So, let me as an outsider looking in get this straight, you lot in the Ardoyne don't care about terrorist activity in your area, in fact you ignore it (apparently), but you can't let a load of old men in silly costume walk down a road for 10 minutes? Have you really got a handle on reality, well, have you?
iain in west belfast wrote (281 days ago):
it looks like they have more problems in the ardoyne than orangemen, wheres the respect to even your own community's
watp in Newtownabbey wrote (281 days ago):
now this is the type of thing people in ardoyne should be protesting about instead of loyalist culture
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