Published Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Police and the army bomb in Culmore Gardens where a pipebomb was thrown at PSNI (© UTV)
Officers were responding to what is believed to have been a hoax call in the Culmore Gardens area at around 7.30pm on Monday when the attack happened.
The device was thrown at their vehicle but it did not explode.
It was made safe by the army bomb squad.
No-one was injured, and a number of families who were evacuated from their homes were allowed to return shortly after 12.30pm.
District Commander George Clarke described the attack as "reckless", adding that it could have led to serious injuries or death in a built-up, residential area.
He said: "We are very fortunate not to be talking about serious injuries or deaths this morning following the reckless attack on my officers and the residents of Culmore Gardens last night.
"Police officers were responding to assist in what they believed to be a genuine call for help when this viable device was thrown at their vehicle. The people responsible for this attack did not care that this was in a built up residential area. We need to catch the people responsible for this reckless attack on our officers and on the local community."
SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood said it's believed dissidents were behind the attack.
"This is an outrage that once again an area in west Belfast has been disrupted, the lives of local people have been disrupted by an alleged dissident attack," he said.
"It's clear that the police were called in, lured into the area to investigate a burglary and that a device was then thrown at police. There's no support in west Belfast for this type of actions."
Ross Hussey of the UUP said:"The terrorists who committed this crime offer no hope of a better future for anyone and only a one way ticket to prison.
"They must be rejected and handed over to the police."
George Clarke said the PSNI will continue to work to prevent incidents which disrupt communities in NI and asked for anyone with information to come forward.
He continued: "I would call on everyone in our community who want to see a happier and more peaceful future to give us the information to put these people before the courts."
© UTV News