POLICE officers have cheated death after two pipe bombs were thrown at their patrol in north Belfast.
The officers were targeted while responding to an emergency call in the Crumlin Road area during the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The devices were thrown as the two officers got out of their patrol car.
The attack came just two weeks after a gun and pipe bomb attack on police officers in west Belfast.
Following the attack, Belfast Daily revealed PSNI officers were warned to expect further attacks on them from Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) as it steps up its murder bid campaign.
A PSNI spokeswoman said the officrs not physically hurt by Tuesday’s attack but had been left badly shaken by the ordeal.
North Belfast area comander PSNI Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn said police were treating the attack as attempted murder.
“This was a blatant attempt to murder our police officers who were out protecting the community,” said Chief Inspector Freeburn.
“It is just sheer good fortune that they were not killed or seriously injured.
“The people who carried out this attack showed a total disregard for the people within this community,” he said.
The Crumlin Road has been closed and a number of homes have been evacuated.
Some residents have taken shelter at Ballysillan Leisure Centre.
This is the second pipe bomb attack on a police patrol in Belfast in less than a fortnight.
A similar device was found after shots were fired at three police officers in the Foxes Glen area of Twinbrook earlier this month.
Following the Foxes Glen attack, Belfast Daily revealed on May 18 that intelligence in the hands of police bosses warned that ONH was planning to step up its gun and bomb campaign on the security forces in the coming weeks.
Officers reporting for duty after the Foxes Glen murder bid were alerted to the threat to their lives both on and off duty following fresh information gleaned by the PSNI’s C3 Intelligence Branch.
They were told the attacks could include:
* undercar booby trap devices planted under their cars at home addresses:
* pipe bomb devices thrown at police vehicles;
* bogus call outs for a potential gun ambush.
A security source told Belfast Daily: “All police are now on heightened alert, particularly in the Greater Belfast area.
“They have been told to step up their personal security around their homes.
“They have also been told to be on the alert further gun attacks when answering ‘shouts’ about burglaries, car thefts etc.
“These are dangerous times and all officers are having to step up their guard for further attacks in the coming weeks.”