Belfast Telegraph

Blast bomb: Police officers and family caught up in Belfast attack

Bomb thrown at police in west Belfast

By John Mulgrew

Police officers and a family have escaped serious injury following a blast bomb attack in Belfast.

A device was thrown at police in the Falls Road area of west Belfast on Friday night.

A PSNI vehicle was damaged in the attack, but police have said they are no reports of any injuries.

But a young family who were passing nearby in their car were caught up in the blast.

Shrapnel caused damage to the vehicle bodywork, tyres and smashed the windscreen. The family have since been taken to hospital for treatment.

Dissident republicans have been suspected in the attack.

It's understood the bomb was thrown at a police vehicle around 10.30pm close the City Cemetery.

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey condemned those behind the attack, but slammed the PSNI who he said had not attended the scene over an hour after the attack.

He said the young family were "very lucky to be alive".

"I don't live far away and heard an explosion," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"There was a car with a young family - the car was damaged by a device which went off close to a police Land Rover.

"They have been left very shaken and there was damage to the family's car.

"I condemn the attack, which I'm sure was carried out by dissidents. People were very lucky to be unhurt."

"But, I am still here and the PSNI is not out. I am disgusted at the PSNI - there are press and ambulance crews, but no police."

It's understood police arrived on the scene a short time later.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police in west Belfast have escaped serious injury tonight after an explosive device detonated close to their vehicle on the Falls Road.

"The incident occurred shortly before 10.30pm close to the entrance of the City Cemetery.

"It is believed some form of explosive device was thrown at their vehicle."

A spokesman for the ambulance service said paramedics treated up to four people of the public for shock.

Officers were urged to tighten personal security measures earlier today after a separate under car bomb was found a relatively short distance away from City Cemetery.

'Booby trap' under car bomb found during Belfast security alert

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