Belfast Telegraph

Bomb found under major's vehicle

An Army major who escaped a dissident republican murder bid when a booby trap bomb fell off his car without detonating is lucky to be alive, police have said.

The officer was driving away from his home in a private development in Bangor, Co Down, on Wednesday morning when he noticed a suspicious object lying on the driveway.

Army bomb disposal officers carried out a series of controlled explosions outside the home in the seaside town's Chatsworth area and police later confirmed the item was a viable and potentially deadly device.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said the damage would have been potentially catastrophic if the bomb had exploded.

"When you place any sort of device in a quiet residential area, where a lot of people would have been going about their daily business, the results could have been catastrophic - it could have killed or caused very serious injury," he said.

Police have declined to confirm the identity of the individual targeted but it is understood he is a major who serves at a nearby Army base.

Mr Grimshaw said the attack "bore all the hallmarks of dissident republicans" and added: "The bottom line is this was a member of the community going about their daily business. The individual should consider themselves very lucky."

About 30 homes were evacuated while the device was made safe.

The operation was mounted as security forces in Londonderry continued their investigations into a car bomb attack outside a police station on the city's Strand Road early on Tuesday. Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process were responsible for that attack.

Peter Weir, a Democratic Unionist Party member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, who lives in Bangor, said those involved in Wednesday's incident were lawless criminals intent on murder. He added: "I have no doubt that, by their actions, the criminals are trying to send a message that they can come into a law-abiding and peaceful part of Northern Ireland in order to peddle their own brand of evil. They are mistaken."

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