Politicians condemn 'disgusting' and 'mindless' attack on police in Craigavon
Politicians from across Northern Ireland have strongly condemned an attack on police by dissident republicans.
Police received a report in the early hours of Saturday morning that a device had been fired at officers in the Tullygally Road area of Craigavon, but it missed its target.
A suspicious object was found in the area during a subsequent security clearance operation, which is ongoing. Police believe it was a viable explosive device and it will be taken away for forensic examination.
Ulster Unionist justice spokesperson, Doug Beattie, condemned those responsible for the attack as "contemptible, deranged and pathetic individuals".
"It's simple. This is another attempt by republican terrorists to murder police officers going about their lawful duty. These terrorists care little about the people of Craigavon and, indeed, the people of Northern Ireland," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"These are contemptible, deranged and pathetic individuals who are seeking to drag us pack into the past. I would also reject the term 'dissidents' - these are just violent republicans.
"Just the same the violent republicans that came before them, trying to force the people of Northern Ireland to bend to their will, but in a different guise."
Alliance MLA and Policing Board member, John Blair, said there needs to be a plan to tackle paramilitarism.
“I am utterly disgusted by what has occurred, yet another incident that demonstrates the effect the lack of an Executive is having on our community," he said.
"We need to see an actionable plan in place to tackle paramilitarism, ensuring those determined to cause carnage on our streets are removed as a threat and dealt with in an appropriate way.”
DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley said the actions of a few "mindless individuals" could have resulted in a scene of devastation.
"Their actions are totally reprehensible and there must be condemnation from all sections of the community towards this behaviour," he said.
"Police officers go out of their homes and put on a uniform to protect our community from harm. For anyone to think that they deserve to be threatened or attacked in such a sinister way like this is clearly morally corrupt.
"Dissident republican activity must be thwarted at all costs. Activity like this should not belong within pockets of our society."
A number of homes in the area have been evacuated and the Tullygally Road is cordoned off while the security operation takes place.
Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd called on those responsible to stop.
“There can be no place in our society for these type of actions," he said.
“It has also caused considerable disruption to the local community and I have visited the area and spoken to some of those caught up in it.
“Residents were evacuated from their homes after midnight and the security alert is continuing while searches are carried out.
“Those responsible for this incident have nothing to offer the local community or society as a whole."
Belfast Telegraph Digital