A POLICE chief says his officers were lucky not be killed or maimed after a PSNI patrol was the target of a dissident republican pipe bomb attack on Saturday night.
A security cordon was thrown up around the Ballycolman estate in Strabane around 8.30 pm following reports an object was lobbed at police a few minutes earlier.
The PSNI say a member of the public lifted the pipe bomb and moved it to waste ground at the old Adria factory site.
Army technical officers were tasked to the scene to examine the object.
Following a controlled explosion, police said it was a viable pipe bomb and the area was declared safe around 3 am on Sunday am.
The attack was condemned by the area commander who himself was once the target of a dissident letter bomb attack.
Said Chief Inspector Andy Lemon: “This was not only a deliberate attempt to kill police officers, but was an attack on the community of Strabane.
“It is very fortunate that no-one, either police or civilian, was seriously injured last night.
“Had this device exploded, it could have killed or maimed anyone close by.
“Those responsible showed total disregard for the local community and put the lives of local people in the area at risk.”