Published Friday, 26 October 2012
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Police were attending a report of a violent domestic in the Glenwood View area when their vehicle was targeted shortly before 8.40pm on Thursday.
PSNI Superintendent Philip Knox said the device was capable of causing serious injury or death.
"One of the officers involved tells me that the device passed inches from his face before landing close to the police vehicle. Luckily the fuse burnt itself out on the ground," he said.
Around 20 houses were evacuated while examinations were carried out. Residents returned to their homes at around 3am on Friday.
"The officers targeted were responding to what they believed was a genuine call for help," said Supt Knox.
"We consider ourselves extremely fortunate today that we are not dealing with a much more serious incident and that all of the responding officers were able to walk away from that situation unharmed," added the senior police officer.
It now transpires that they were lured to the area with a hoax call so some cowardly individual could attack and try to kill them with a pipe bomb.
Superintendent Philip Knox
Ulster Unionist MLA Ross Hussey is a member of the Policing Board. He has hit out at those responsible for a bomb attack.
"Obviously the finger of suspicion will point at so-called 'dissident' republicans and comes just a day after the Home Office announced that the threat level from dissident republicans to Great Britain has been downgraded from "substantial" to "moderate".
"The police exist to serve and protect the entire community and it is essential that the entire community demonstrates support for the Police and actively assists them to combat all forms of criminality and terror from whatever source."
Superintendent Knox issued an appeal for help from the community in finding the attacker.
"At this stage the description we have is of a male, around 5' 10" in height of a slim build wearing a dark hoody and dark baggy tracksuit bottoms."
It is the second time in four months that officers have been targeted this way. In June a bomb was thrown at two officers when patrols responded to a report of a domestic in Twinbrook.
They were left shaken, but unharmed by the attack.