Young boy 'kicked booby-trap bomb down the street': Gerry Kelly
Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has claimed a young boy kicked a booby-trap bomb down a north Belfast road before it was discovered to be a deadly device.
Police described a bomb found in Linden Gardens off the Cliftonville Road in north Belfast as a "viable explosive-type device, designed to kill or maim".
Residents were forced from their homes and the security alert is continuing in the area this morning.
Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan Show, Sinn Fein MLA for the area Gerry Kelly said a young boy had kicked the object along the road before the security alert swung into operation.
He said: "Not only could this have been a fatality of whoever the target happened to be but it could have been a young person.
"I understand from talking to some of them this morning that a young boy kicked it on the way up the street.
"So we could have been dealing with a child being killed."
Last night the under-car booby-trap bomb - found close to a school - was described as "a reckless attempt to kill" by a councillor.
Residents of Linden Gardens were evacuated from their homes at 2pm yesterday before a controlled explosion was carried out.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Campbell said the device was a "viable explosive-type device".
"At this stage police believe this could have been an under-car booby-trap which was designed to kill or maim."
The officer said the Army carried out a controlled explosion and the device was taken away for forensic examination.
He added: "I utterly condemn this incident. Those responsible have no qualms about putting people's lives at risk and causing disruption to the community. There is no doubt that this device had the potential to cause serious injury or death."
One local resident, Liam Matthews, who had to leave his home because of the bomb alert, told reporters: "We were very inconvenienced. My kids are at school, my wife had to pick them up. They had a lot of homework to do, my oldest girl is doing her GCSEs and has exams coming up. I'm annoyed that we were kept out of the house."
Belfast SDLP councillor Nichola Mallon said: "Once again north Belfast residents have been forced from their homes by those with no regard for life, be it the families who live locally or the many children attending Naíscoil Bheann Mhadagáin and Cliftonville Integrated Primary school nearby.
"There is no justification for this callous attempt to kill. I would appeal for anyone with information to bring it forward and help bring those responsible to justice."
DUP councillor Brian Kingston hit out at what he called the "bloodlust" of the bombers. "This is a quiet, settled community. The people who left this device there have no mandate, no support for their actions.
"It's just bloodlust."
Sinn Fein councillor Mary Clarke agreed that "those responsible must be condemned in the strongest possible terms".