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Bomb 'was attempt to kill police'

A bomb found during an alert in north Belfast was a blatant attempt to kill police, a senior PSNI commander has said.

The viable device was discovered at a house in Alliance Avenue after police went to investigate reports that shots had been fired.

Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn said: "Those who carried out this heinous act showed callous disregard for the safety of the local community and police officers serving this community. We are very fortunate that no one was killed or seriously injured as this occurred in a residential area, putting the lives of people at risk.

"This was a blatant attempt to kill or seriously injure police officers who were following up inquiries."

The alert was raised on Tuesday afternoon after reports of shots being fired in the area. A number of holes were discovered in windows of the property in Alliance Avenue.

Thirty families had to be evacuated as Army technical officers examined the suspicious object and carried out a controlled explosion.

Alliance Avenue was closed to traffic between Etna Drive and Berwick Road. All roads have now reopened.

Ardoyne Community Centre was made available to residents who have since been allowed to return to their homes.

Mr Freeburn said police officers would not be deterred from carrying out their duty despite the risks posed by elements intent on causing them harm.

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