Bomb 'could have killed children'
A bomb thrown into a crowded Belfast street injuring three policemen could have killed passing children, Northern Ireland's Chief Constable said.
Matt Baggott said Friday night's suspected dissident republican attack in the west of the city could have claimed many lives.
One of the officers is set to undergo emergency surgery on a serious arm injury later while his two colleagues are recovering from less serious shrapnel injuries.
They and other officers were investigating a robbery at a bookmakers in Shaw's Road at around 9pm when a young man rode up on a bicycle and threw the device at them.
Appealing for information on the culprit, Mr Baggott outlined the deadly potential of the incident.
"It was a very serious attempt to maim or kill police officers and it was very serious attempt to maim or kill innocent people walking down that street," he said at police headquarters in Belfast.
"Shaw's Road last night was not an isolated place - it was a busy thoroughfare with adults, young people and children.
"People going about their lives and someone threw a deadly explosive device into a crowded thoroughfare."
While police are investigating whether the robbery was a set up to lure officers into the area, evidence suggests that it was an opportunist attack.
Mr Baggott rejected any suggestion that republican districts like west Belfast could again become 'no go' areas for the police if such murder bids continued.