police crime scene pic 1POLICE are continuing a follow up operation in the New Lodge area of north Belfast this morning after a suspected bomb attack on a police patrol last night, Tuesday 21 April.

Speaking about the incident, Belfast City District Commander, Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said: “We believe a device thrown or fired last night at around 10.30pm exploded in the air but did not come into contact with any police vehicle.

“However as part of the follow up operation with Army Technical Officers we discovered a vehicle within the Victoria Park area was damaged.  We believe the damage was caused by the device thrown.

“The front windscreen of the vehicle was smashed and there was further damage caused to the dashboard.  If someone had been inside this vehicle, they most likely would have sustained serious injuries or could have been killed.

“We know that these types of incidents are carried out by a small but mindless number of people within our communities.

“They have shown a callous disregard for the safety of the local community and the police officers who serve it.

“We are very fortunate this morning that no one was killed or seriously injured as this incident occurred in a residential area, putting the lives of those living there at serious risk.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to providing a service across Northern Ireland despite the attempts of a small minority who attempt to kill officers serving their community who should be allowed to carry out their duties without the added pressure of misguided individuals intent on causing them harm.

Chief Superintendent Grimshaw continued: “As part of the ongoing operation this morning unfortunately it is necessary that a small number of residents remain out their homes as an essential safety precaution.

“North Queen Street Community Centre remains available to people within the area.  We apologise for the disruption but it is unfortunately unavoidable. Our first priority must be to ensure the area is thoroughly checked and that it is safe for local people.

“I would appeal to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact Detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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