M5 bomb blast was 'attempted murder'

Published Sunday, 10 March 2013
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Three police officers have escaped injury in a bomb attack, which forced the closure of the M5 motorway in the outskirts of north Belfast at the weekend.

M5 bomb blast was 'attempted murder'
The alert was sparked on the M5 on Saturday night. (© Pacemaker)

The officers were responding to a call in the Hazelbank area at around 9.15pm on Saturday when they heard a loud bang.

They were making their way along the Duncrue towpath at the time of the attack, which police are now treating as attempted murder.

Police say they believe the officers were the intended target of the attack.

They confirmed that an explosive device had detonated after searches, involving police helicopters and army bomb experts, were conducted in the area on Sunday.

No one was injured in the attack; however a PSNI spokeswoman said the officers were left badly shaken.

Those who carried out this attack have shown complete disregard for the safety of the local community and the police officers serving this community.

Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine

District Commander Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine said his colleagues were lucky to be alive.

Condemning the attack, he said: "This is a well-known area that is used every day by members of the local community. It is only by good fortune that police officers and members of the public were not killed or seriously injured last night."

Police say they are extremely keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed any unusual activity or suspicious vehicles between the early hours of Friday morning and 9pm on Saturday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives in Newtownabbey.

The M5, which was closed between Hazelbank and Greencastle for almost 24 hours, has reopened.

The Duncrue towpath remained closed from Dargin to Fortwilliam on Sunday night.

A number of items have been removed from the scene for further forensic examination.

© UTV News
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30 Comments
Equal in wrote (599 days ago):
Do these posts get moderated? All I see is .... your this , your that, shut up, wise up, your stupid.... This place is a haven for people to mock, intimidate, harass, put down, and generally slag one an other for their own opinions, be them silly, daft, sectarian etc etc. people, catch yourselves on, ALL of you! Psni doing good job yes I agree , but there's been so many hoaxes in n.abbey, would another one not be on the cards or expected from the plonkers that are "planting them"? there are So many people with so many views here. Relax , chill out, stop getting so irate over some people's silly comments :) and utv, Stop letting people bully others by their comments especially the sectarian comments in the post about flags!
Carl in Belfast wrote (599 days ago):
@Kim in belfast, it's not even 3 full days since this happened, people may be brought to justice on TV in those sort of timescales, but thats not the case in real life. It probably took the bulk of 24 hours to find what remained of the device. Maybe people should stop being so quick to criticise the PSNI and divert their attention to the dinosaurs who continue to put the public and police officers at risk.
B in Belfast wrote (599 days ago):
I'm sure the PSNI will be racing to recruit the amateur Sherlock Holmes' on here before the FBI come knocking for them. The firework predictions were spot on....
Limavady in Limavady wrote (600 days ago):
To all those who complained of a bit of noise and inconvenience,what do you say now that the truth has emerged. Still say its only fireworks. The police were only doing a thorough job protecting their officers and us. Cut them some slack or better still walk a mile in their shoes then see how it feels. Also to those who planted this device and supporters of violence just go away, leave us in peace!
Kim in Belfast wrote (600 days ago):
no one caught or charged , the usual with this pathetic PSNI.
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