Police search for Belfast bomb target

Published Tuesday, 13 November 2012
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Detectives trying to identify the target of a suspected under-car booby trap bomb, which was found near a primary school in north Belfast, have appealed for information.

Police search for Belfast bomb target
Army bomb experts examine the device in north Belfast. (© Pacemaker)

The viable explosive device was discovered on Ballymagarry Lane off the Ballygomartin Road, near Springhill Primary School.

The road remained closed overnight while police carried out investigations. It has since reopened.

"At this stage police believe that this could have been an under-car booby trap designed to kill and maim," a PSNI spokesman said.

It is believed the device fell from a car belonging to its intended target - a police officer or another member of the security services.

"Officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have travelled along the Ballymagarry Road anytime between Wednesday 7 November and Saturday 10 November and who may recall seeing anything suspicious or unusual lying on the road," a PSNI spokesman said.

"Detectives are also appealing for anyone to come forward who may have observed any unknown vehicles or persons acting suspiciously on the Ballymagarry Road or any of the housing developments in this area since last Wednesday."

Two controlled explosions were carried out by army bomb experts on Monday. The device was made safe and was later taken away for further forensic examination.

Life in the Ballymagarry area was totally disrupted yesterday by people with evil in their minds and evil in their hearts.

North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey

Residents in north Belfast say they are angry and concerned following the discovery.

"We don't know how long it was lying out there. I just said to myself God forgive the ones that did it because it's so near homes and all," Betty Armstrong told UTV.

"People are very angry. It would have been a disaster, because there's an awful lot of children go [to that school] now."

Mrs Armstrong was not evacuated from her home during the alert, but it has left her feeling vulnerable.

Local woman Danielle Mussen said children's lives were put at risk.

"I think people are annoyed because it's a family community, lots of kids and with the school and all being disrupted, and people could not get their kids from school yesterday.

"It's worrying," she added. "Kids don't know what they're playing with or what they're picking up so that's worrying."

Dissident republicans are being blamed for the device.

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said it achieved nothing "except potentially heap misery and hurt on the community and yet another family".

Mr Kelly added: "The people of Ireland voted for the peace process and Sinn Féin have been driving forward with change and that will continue."

UUP MLA Ross Hussey also condemned those behind the attack.

"If reports are correct and this is found to be an under-car booby-trap bomb which has fallen off a vehicle, then it is a chilling reminder of the tactic used by republicans to murder Constable Ronan Kerr and injure Constable Paedar Heffron," the Policing Board member said.

"As the recent murder of Prison Officer David Black demonstrated, this society is still cursed by the presence of those who are wedded to violence and the desire to commit murder."

Halcombe Street in the lower Woodstock area of east Belfast and Middlepath Street near the city centre have been reopened following police searches overnight.

Two vehicles were examined by detectives investigating the north Belfast device. Nothing untoward was found.

PSNI officers can be contacted on 0845 600 8000. People can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
MIKE IN Lurgan in LURGAN wrote (803 days ago):
TOLD you so I Informed everyone here that THE IRA is THE IRA but did anyone agree NO . FINALLY I hav been proved right . You lot were all duped into thinkin that the DECOMMISIONING got rid of all the FIREMARMS EXLOSIVES etc NO way you were all DUPED. A very good strategy of the BRITS and the IRA to try and win you lot over the IRA never went away you knw NEVER FORGET those fateful words of GERRY ,,, IRA IS IRA IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY it matters nothing that they are dissidents real continuity raad etc thye are all IRA dont u lot get it.Copy to NOLAN SHOW BBC NI RTE FOX NEWS AL JEZZERA CNN sky News
Mark in Belfast wrote (803 days ago):
Of course they are gettin local community support , you cant go about setting bombs and hijacking cars on a weekly basis and NO ONE in the area sees somehting , its impossible , its all played down for this farce of a "peace process" , its no different nowadays than it was in the 80s/90s.
conair in belfast wrote (803 days ago):
Concerned in west Belfast, I assume you mean peace process? Anyway there are many nationalists that feel the same regarding loyalist terrorists who are still very active in the loyalist community were they continue to murder their own and terrorize young and old people, you just have to look at the thuggery committed by loyalist goons in places like carrickfergus/ballyclare/crumlin road to realize that, i dont see unionist community reps speak out on these issues, in fact i see nothing but unionists inflame situations by making excuse for loyalist criminals.
Concerned in West Belfast wrote (803 days ago):
The people of the Shankill road came out in force against the UVF when they murdered Bobby Moffett and told them 'enough is enough' and guess what? It worked. No more gunmen have been on our streets since. I've yet to see similar action from the republican community towards these cowards who continue to murder and maim on a near weekly basis now. Obviously they have more support than the shinners like to pretend? Are they really 'dissidents' now or r the shinners the modern day SDLP?
Ryan in Belfast wrote (804 days ago):
@Concerned in West Belfast. Wait a second, "the nationalist republican communities continue to harbour these terrorists" concerned, you must be either a very ignorant person or just a particularly stupid person or maybe both. These dissidents work the exact same way as the past Provisional IRA and UVF work, they install fear in their communties.
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