The terror faction Oglaigh na hEireann last night claimed to have targeted a serving soldier with a booby-trap bomb in north Belfast.
In a call to this newspaper, the dissident republican group claimed to have placed a device under a seat inside a car.
The caller said the bomb was linked to a trip wire running to the seatbelt. The Army carried out a controlled explosion, and police later confirmed that a viable device had been found.
The terror group said its so-called Belfast Brigade had |targeted the soldier in Ligoniel. Around 60 residents were evacuated from their homes at Blackdam Court off Ligoniel Road.
Last night, a police spokesman said they would be allowed to return to their homes as soon as possible.
North Belfast DUP Assembly member William Humphrey condemned those behind the attack.
During the alert, Mr Humphrey said he understood the device was placed inside the vehicle.
“Thankfully the car owner spotted the object which is now being examined by Army technical officers to whom we are indebted,” he said. “Those responsible for manufacturing and planting this device must be utterly condemned and rejected by all right-thinking people.”
Oglaigh na hEireann has emerged over the past three years as the most dangerous of the dissident republican terror groups.
It is believed to be made up of young militants and former Provisional IRA veterans who are disillusioned with the peace process.
Mr Humphrey added: “It is disgraceful and utterly appalling, in this day and age, that there are those who are prepared to intimidate and kill to advance their own criminal purposes and warped political ideology.
“They must be given no hiding place and I would urge anyone who can help the police to bring them to justice to pass on whatev
er information or suspicions they may have.”
This is not the first time Oglaigh na hEireann has attempted to kill using bombs in cars.
In October 2009 a device placed under an MX5 sports car which was driven by a police officer's girlfriend exploded at Kingsdale Park in Belfast.
In 2010, Catholic PSNI officer Constable Peadar Heffron (33) had his leg amputated during treatment for the injuries which he suffered in a bomb attack on January 8.
And in August 2010, an ONH booby-trap device planted under the car of an Army major in Bangor failed to detonate.