North Queen Street alert 1DETECTIVES have launched a murder probe following the discovery of a pipe bomb in north Belfast this week.

The PSNI detectives believe the device was thrown at a passing police vehicle the previous evening by dissident republicans intent on killing officers onboard the vehicle.

“It is believed that this device was most likely thrown at a police vehicle the evening before,” says Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery.

“If this is an attack on police officers, we are very lucky that none of my colleagues or members of the public were injured.”

Police are keen to speak to the driver of a white van seen in the area just before midnight on Monday.

The pipe bomb was destroyed during a security alert in north Belfast on Tuesday.

The alert started a cylindrical object discovered this morning in North Queen Street.

Police evacuated a number of nearby families from their homes.

Army Technical Officers carried out an examination and said it was a viable device.

A controlled explosion was carried out by an ATO robot.

It was later removed for forensic examination.

The road between New Lodge Road and Duncairn Gardens was was reopened to traffic after police closed it during the alert.

The incident had caused “massive inconvenience, disruption and upset for the local community of north Belfast”, said Det Insp Mary White, who thanked the public for their “patience and cooperation”.

She believes the device was thrown at a PSNI vehicle on Monday night.

“I am appealing for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the North Queen Street area close to Spamount Street or anyone with any information that could assist with the investigation to contact detectives.”

A woman who entered the scene to retrieve a football was handcuffed and taken away by police for breach of a PSNI cordon.

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