Belfast Telegraph

Mortar bomb and command wire found amid west Belfast security alert

Discovery comes after mortar attack on police earlier this month

By John Mulgrew

A 22-year-old man has been arrested after what appears to have been a foiled mortar bomb attack in west Belfast.

A mortar bomb and command wire were both found during a security alert on Thursday night.

It's understood the device was discovered at the junction of the Shaw's Road and the Glen Road, according to the BBC.

Police arrested the man in west Belfast last night in connection with the security operation.

According to police, a holdall containing an 'improvised explosive device' was seized from the 22-year-old being held, after he was stopped in the Shaw's Road area at around 11pm.

It comes after police officers and a young family escaped injury after a mortar device - also triggered by command wire - was launched at a police Land Rover earlier this month.

A dissident republican group which refers to itself as the IRA claimed responsibility.

The group also said the bomb struck the PSNI Land Rover.

Police had previously said only a small amount of damage had been caused to the vehicle.

Dissidents had claimed they used newly-imported Semtex during the murder attempt on police officers.

Activated by a command wire, the explosive contained recently acquired military-grade Semtex, according to those responsible.

But security sources have played down the claim.

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey - who arrived at the scene of the attack a short time later - condemned those responsible.

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

A Filipino family was treated for shock after their vehicle was damaged by debris during the blast.

Shrapnel caused damage to the vehicle bodywork, tyres and smashed the windscreen.

The bomb was launched from the City Cemetery as a police patrol passed by - the explosion heard across Belfast.

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