A residential area of east Belfast was thrown into chaos today when a a loud explosion shattered the silence at 7.30am.
Afterwards, a police helicopter hovered overhead while an ambulance, police Land-Rovers and bomb-disposal units descended on the quiet suburban cul-de-sac.
In the middle of the road lay the abandonded red sports car. It had suffered extensive damage.
Police suspect a device was planted under the car but were officers at the scene were giving nothing away.
Two large white screens were erected to cordon Kingsdale Park road from the public.
The road is lined with semi-detached houses and large open gardens and the PSNI headquarters is in the area.
Residents were hestitant to speak after officers told them to stay indoors during the course of the operation.
Lord Wallace Browne, who is a DUP MLA for east Belfast, said he cannot believe this kind of thing has happened in this area. He said: “This is a quiet residential area and this is an unusual event to have taken place. Even at the height of the Troubles this type of thing did not happen.
“Although there is a lot of speculation, I suspect this is the work of dissidents and it will not be tolerated”.
Alliance Lord Mayor Naomi Long who is an Assembly member for east Belfast has also condemned what has happened. She said: “The people who have done this have not just endangered the lives of the people involved but the lives of everyone in the neighbourhood. Children could have been walking to school with their parents.”
The Mayor of Castlereagh, councillor Lawrence Walker said: “I cannot believe that this type of activity is still taking place today. The outcome could have been a lot worse than what it was.”.