A bomb has been found under the car of a serving police officer in Northern Ireland.
Police said the Under Vehicle Improvised Explosive Device attached to the officer’s vehicle in Co Londonderry was capable of causing “death or serious injury”.
The finger of blame will be pointed at dissident republicans opposed to the peace process. The violent extremists are waging a campaign to target members of the security forces in Northern Ireland.
The bomb was left at Glenrandel in the village of Eglinton on the outskirts of Derry city.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) local district commander superintendent Mark McEwan condemned those responsible.
“Police were alerted to suspicious activity outside a house at around 2.45am this morning,” he said.
“Upon attending the scene a device was located under a car parked outside the house.
“ATO (Army Technical Officers) were tasked to the scene during the early hours and have now declared this to be a viable device.
“We can confirm that this was an Under Vehicle Improvised Explosive Device capable of causing death or serious injury under the car of a serving police officer.
“This device had the potential to harm not only the officer but anyone in that residential area and those involved have shown a blatant disregard for human life. This is yet another example of the cowardly elements in our society who show no regard for the safety of local residents and the police officers who serve their community.
“We are obviously very thankful that this attack was thwarted and that no one was injured here this morning but this is a stark reminder that the threat against our Police Service and its employees remains at severe.
“Clearly there are people out there in today’s society who are still intent on causing murder and mayhem. These criminal elements are not welcome in our society and I am appealing to the local community for their assistance in driving this small minority from our streets and bringing them before the courts.”
The Glenrandel area remains closed to traffic and residents. Around 15 houses have been evacuated through the security alert.
Mr McEwan added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local residents for their patience and co-operation and assure them that we are taking every sensible step to keep them safe and minimise any further impact on them.
“The investigation is at an early stage and we would appeal for anyone who may have been in this area around 2.45am this morning or in recent days who may have witnessed anything untoward or noticed any persons acting in a suspicious manner.
“We are also appealing for anyone who may have witnessed any vehicles seen leaving the area at speed shortly after 2.45am to contact us.”