A bomb which exploded outside the City of Culture offices in Londonderry last night “could have killed”, SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said.
The device went off shortly before 11pm in the second attack on the offices this year. According to police, there were no reports of any injuries.
It is understood bomb disposal officers had been tasked to attend the scene at the junction of Custom House Street and the Guildhall Square.
However, the device exploded before they arrived.
Only yesterday Derry was one of the first cities in Northern Ireland to be awarded Purple Flag status, which recognises cities that offer visitors a safe night out and are appealing after dark.
Last night the area remained sealed off, with Shipquay Street closed to traffic.
Foyle SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said it was “extremely lucky” that no-one had been injured as the area had been busy.
“I think we’re lucky; there are a lot of people about Derry city centre. We are very lucky we are not talking about something more serious,” he said.
“It’s just another attack on the hopes and dreams of the people of Derry. The City of Culture gives us the opportunity to build a better future.”
Foyle MP Mark Durkan said those responsible were “out to destroy”.
It is the second time the City of Culture offices have been targeted this year.
In January a small device went off just outside the building.
There was widespread condemnation of that attack, which was blamed on dissident republicans.
In August last year a 200lbs bomb was delivered in a hijacked taxi to police headquarters on the Strand Road in the city, and in October two PSNI officers were injured in a car bomb attack close to the Ulster Bank on the Culmore Road.
Again, dissident republicans were behind both attacks.