Bomb Falls Off Belfast Police Car

Cops blame 'dissident republican' paramilitaries
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2012 1:45 PM CST
Bomb Falls Off Belfast Police Car
Police forensic officers examine the scene of a bomb attack outside a gambling shop in west Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010.   (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Political tensions in northern Ireland almost exploded today—literally—when a bomb fell off the bottom of a police officer's car, the BBC reports. Army bomb experts were called to the scene at Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast and handled the device in a controlled explosion, but police are still simmering. "Our belief is that this attempted murder was carried by those opposed to peace from within dissident republicanism," said an assistant chief constable. "They don't care who they attack, they don't care who they kill."

Despite the IRA's 2005 agreement to end its armed campaign, breakaway groups have continued using violence in their quest to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom. A constable was killed by a booby-trap car bomb last year, and another lost a leg in a bombing in 2010. British loyalists have turned violent too, flinging petrol bombs at cops three weeks ago after the city decided to fly the British flag only 17 days a year, the AFP reports. Eight officers were hurt and five people arrested in the rioting. (More Belfast stories.)

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