Three PSNI officers have been injured after a police car was rammed by a lorry in Co Armagh on Friday afternoon.
Two officers were treated at the scene, while a third has been taken to hospital as a precaution following the incident in Jonesborough. The police car was significantly damaged.
Police and HMRC colleagues were conducting a a joint enforcement operation on a commercial site on Edenappa Road in South Armagh when the incident occurred.
A 57-year-old man arrested on suspicion of a number of offences has now been released following questioning.
Police said during the operation a Scania HGV tipper lorry deliberately and repeatedly rammed a PSNI vehicle, as those in the lorry attempted to flee the area.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne wished the officers involved a speedy recovery and described the attack as a "nasty, reckless incident".
Local UUP councillor David Taylor said he was "extremely concerned" by the incident which he described as a "horrific attack".
“The police officers involved in this operation were undertaking an important role in suppressing criminal activity in the South Armagh area. It is despicable that they have encountered such risk to their safety and highlights the dangers posed to police officers in the everyday line of duty," he said.
“I wish the police officers injured in this horrific attack a very speedy recovery and I sincerely hope that the perpetrators of this incident will be apprehended as soon as possible. I would appeal to anybody who has information which could help police bring these criminals before the courts to contact the PSNI as soon as possible.”
PSNI Superintendent Norman Haslett described the incident as "an appalling, reckless, dangerous and completely cowardly act".
"Using a heavy goods vehicle as a weapon, could easily have caused catastrophic injury or worse," he said.
“These were local officers from a Neighbourhood Policing Team were carrying out their duty to keep communities safe from organised criminality."
Superintendent Haslett said a police and investigation into the incident was now underway and the PSNI are liaising with colleagues in An Garda Siochana.
"We are particularly interested in locating the vehicle and the driver which rammed the police car. It was displaying the number plate LD08POP and crossed into the Republic of Ireland and will be bearing damage to the front driver’s side," he said.
“We are appealing to anyone with information about this incident to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 754 of 5/03/21.
“A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org."