'Booby trap' bomb found near city school
A viable device discovered near a primary school in north Belfast could have been an under-car booby trap bomb designed to "kill and maim", police have said.
Monday, 12 November 2012
Ballymagarry Lane remained closed overnight while investigations are continuing close to Springhill Primary School, where the device was found shortly before 12pm on Monday.
Two vehicles are also being examined by police "carrying out a number of inquiries across the city centre", a PSNI spokesman confirmed.
Halcombe Street in the lower Woodstock area of east Belfast and Middlepath Street have been closed whilst officers examine the vehicles following the discovery of the viable bomb.
"At this stage police believe that this could have been an under-car booby trap designed to kill and maim," the spokesman added.
The device was made safe and was taken away for further forensic examination by army bomb experts who were tasked to the scene on Monday morning.
Homes in the area were evacuated while two controlled explosions were carried out. Four primary schools in the vicinity were also advised to keep children indoors during the operation.
We are pretty fortunate tonight that we're not looking at a tragic situation with people having lost their lives.
William Humphrey, DUP MLA
North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey has condemned those responsible for the device.
"I am told that this had all the appearance of an under-car explosive device and it is suspected that it had fallen off a vehicle," he said.
"We could have had a situation today here where schoolchildren travelling to school and people going about their business could have been blown to smithereens."
Mr Humphrey added: "Those responsible have been entirely reckless and did not care who suffered the consequences of their actions. We are indebted to the PSNI and army bomb disposal officers who cleared this security alert."
He urged anyone with information to assist police in their inquiries.
Anyone with any information about persons or vehicles acting suspiciously in the area over the weekend are asked to contact the PSNI.
Residents and schoolchildren have been allowed to return home.
The Ballygomartin Road is open to traffic.