DETECTIVES believe a dissident republican bomb blast in Lurgan was a murder bid on uniform PSNI officers.
A 46-year-old man arrested on Saturday by detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch has since been released without charge.
The blast happened at the junction of North Circular Road and Levin Road in Lurgan, Co Armagh just after 3pm.
The device exploded inside a dog waste bin.
Police were in the area following information that an un-notified parade was to take place. No-one was injured.
The report may have been a “come on” to draw police into the area.
Area commander Chief Inspector Anthony McNally said it was fortunate no one was killed or maimed in the attack.
“We believe the device was left in a dog waste bin and shrapnel from it could have killed or seriously injured anyone close by, police officers or local people alike.”
Police believe the attack was carried out by dissident republicans.
Chief Insp McNally said those behind the blast “showed a blatant disregard for the local community”.
He added: “We want to reassure the community that we will not be deterred by this attack by individuals intent on dragging us back to the past.”
Petrol bombs were thrown at police during follow-up searches in the Kilwilkie area.
Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd said he believed the bomb was an “attempt to kill police officers”.
“The planting of this device along a busy road on one of the busiest days of the year was not only callous it was stupid,” he said.
“Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of this madness.”
Mr O’Dowd said he believed dissident republicans were behind the explosion in the County Armagh town.
Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also condemned the attack and said “anti-peace extremists” were “living in a fantasy world”.