Belfast Telegraph

PSNI appeal over "cold, calculated attempt to kill police officers" in north Belfast

Amanda Ferguson

A police vehicle was struck by an explosive device in north Belfast in a "cold, calculated attempt to kill police officers".

A senior officer has said dissident republicans are believed to behind the homemade rocket launcher attack on a police Land Rover at Twaddell Avenue at around 11.20pm on Sunday.

Superintendent Muir Clark said: “From information we have gathered so far this morning, we believe this device was fired at a police Land Rover by a male who came from the Brompton Park area.

“The vehicle has sustained damage to driver’s side. This was a cold calculated attempt to kill police officers.

"Those involved in planning and carrying out this attack have shown a total disregard for life. 

"This device had the capacity to kill the police officers that were in the vehicle and any member of the public that may have been nearby. 

"We are extremely thankful this morning that no one has been seriously hurt.

"This was a shameful attack on officers who go out to serve this community and keep people safe, day in, day out, and it must be condemned."

The Crumlin Road remains closed between Ardoyne Road and Cambrai Street due to the ongoing security operation.

Twaddell Avenue and the Woodvale Road are also affected.

Superintendent Clark added: "We know that the local community are as appalled as we are, at this attack on police and they have also been significantly inconvenienced by the overnight security operation which has impact on motorists and residents that use the Crumlin Road."

“The investigation is at an early stage, and while it is not possible to definitively state who was behind this attack, we believe it bears the hallmarks of a dissident republican attack.

"CCTV is currently being examined and we would appeal to anyone who may have seen a male come from the Brompton Park area at around 11.15pm or who may have witnessed this male to contact police urgently.

"He is described as wearing a dark hooded top and grey bottoms and following the attack it is believed he made off in the direction of Brompton Park.

“I would appeal to anyone with information or any person who believes they can assist the police investigation to contact detectives at Seapark on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively the Crimestoppers charity can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111."

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