POLICE have blamed dissident republicans for a mortar bomb attack on a mobile police vehicle.
It is believed the deadly device was fired by a command wire.
Last night’s attack in Derry’s Creggan estate has been described as “disgraceful” by the city’s Mayor, Cllr Brenda Stevenson.
Four people – two police officers and two civilians – escaped injury in the attack which occurred in the Circular Road/Creggan Heights area at around 8.40pm.
The rear door of armoured Land Rover Discovery police vehicle and a car with the two civilians travelling behind were damaged in the incident.
The garden of an elderly woman was also damaged.
Police say the “substantial” explosive device was detonated from a nearby pensioner’s home.
A number of families have been evacuated from their homes while police carry out a detailed forensic examination of the scene.
Hitting out at those responsible, Mayor Stevenson described the incident as a “disgraceful” attack on the community in Creggan and a “direct threat” to the PSNI in the city who, she said, were “working to protect us.”
She added: “Incidents such as this serve no purpose but to instil fear and suffering to our communities.
“I would encourage anyone who has any information that will assist the police in their investigations to come forward and help us to to ensure incidents such as these remain in the past.”
Cllr Stevenson concluded: “My thoughts are with the PSNI and the community in Creggan today and appeal to the people of Derry to unite together against such behaviour and stand strong for a better future for our young people.”