Bomb left in Belfast 'intended to murder'

 

A bomb left in North Belfast tonight was intended to kill, police have claimed.

Officers said Army explosives experts were called in to deal with what they described as a "substantial viable device".

Families living in the Jamaica Street area of Ardoyne had to be moved out of their homes during a full-scale alert.

No organisation claimed responsibility for the failed attack, but security chiefs suspect dissident republicans opposed to the peace process were almost certainly involved. A number of them live in the area.

Chief Inspector Andrew Freeburn, the PSNI area commander for North Belfast, said people had every right to be outraged.

He added: "Lives have been put at risk by an element intent on causing a loss of life and as much disruption as they can. The people who carried this out show a callous disregard for the lives of everyone in our community.

"This is a residential area and we could have been looking at a serious tragedy. There is absolutely no doubt this device was intended to murder."

Ardoyne Sinn Fein councillor Gerard McCabe condemned those who left the device.

"Not only have those responsible endangered local residents but they have also forced over 30 families to leave their homes while the device was dealt with," he said.

"Ardoyne has been through enough in recent times without these micro-groups bringing further fear and disruption to people's lives. Thankfully no-one was injured and those evacuated have returned to their homes.

"There is no support for this and the community rejects the micro-groups whose actions are outdated and will not further any political agenda or benefit those who they claim to be representing.

"The Irish people have clearly and overwhelming endorsed the peace process and it's about time this futile activity ceased and those responsible caught up with the rest of the people."

PA

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