DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch have launched a murder bid investigation after a dissident republican gunman opened fire on a police vehicle on Monday night.
As Belfast Daily first revealed on Monday night, the shots were fired from the republican Brompton Park area into the loyalist Twaddell Avenue in north Belfast.
The PSNI say the two shots were directed at a passing police landrover which was on “public order duty” in the area over a nightly loyalist protest.
There are no reports of any injuries.
The union which represents rank-and-file police officers said it was a clear attack to try and kill PSNI officers.
The Police Federation tweeted: “Blatant attempt to murder officers engaged in public order duty in Ardoyne last night as gunman opens fire.”
Serious Crime Branch detectives are now looking for the firing point for the attack in an effort to recover spent bullet casings.
Initially, police told local Progressive Unionist Party representatives that it was “starter pistol” which had been fired.
“Police then withdrew from the Brompton Park side and came in behind those carrying out a loyalist protest,” said a local source.
“People on the ground knew this was live gunfire. They know the difference between that and a starter pistol.
“Locals are still of the opinion that the gunfire was directed at Twaddell Avenue, not the police.”
Last month dissident republicans were blamed for throwing a nail bomb device at police in the same area.
The device was thrown while police were observing a white line loyalist protest on the Crumlin Road on July 15
The PSNI said the device was thrown from the Brompton Park area of Ardoyne.
The device explode but no one was seriously injured.
Loyalists claimed it was thrown from the direction of a local bookmaker’s shop in the nationalist area.
The attack was condemned by local politicians who accused dissident republicans of trying to heighten further tensions in the area.