Politicians have insisted that Northern Ireland will not be dragged back to the dark days of the past following the murder bid in east Belfast.
The bomb partially detonated around 7.30am yesterday morning when the woman got into a car parked outside a house at Kingsdale Park in east Belfast.
She escaped serious injury but was taken to hospital suffering from burns to one of her arms and shock.
First Minister Peter Robinson described the attack as an “evil act designed to murder a police officer”.
“I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” he said.
“Those responsible have nothing to offer and must face the full rigours of the law.
“Undoubtedly those responsible are determined that Northern Ireland should be plunged back into the dark days of the past. They will not succeed.”
Speaking separately deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said those responsible are “living in cloud cuckoo land.”
“We must remain calm when facing what is undoubtedly a dangerous threat to police officers at this time,” he said.
The Northern Ireland Security Minister Paul Goggins described the murder bid as “repulsive”.
“Mercifully this woman escaped with minor injuries but those who planted this bomb had murder in mind,” he said.
Chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board Barry Gilligan urged anyone with information to pass it on to police.
“It is fortunate that this young woman was not seriously injured in this incident and our thoughts are with her and her family,” he said.
Alliance Leader David Ford said it was an “attack on the whole community”.
”If the intended target was a police officer, all politicians must again say that those who serve the whole community should be able to live and work without fear and intimidation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister called for “robust measures” by security forces.
”It is my sincere hope that the security forces learn the lessons of the past and take robust measures to deal with this threat,” he said.