Dissident group claims responsibility for prison officer attack

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A dissident republican group calling itself the IRA has claimed responsibility for the attempted murder of a prison officer in east Belfast.

The 52-year-old officer suffered serious injuries when a bomb exploded under his van on Friday morning.

Forensic officers at the scene of the bombing

Forensic officers at the scene of the bombing

In a statement to the BBC, the group, which is widely referred to as the new IRA, said the man had been targeted for training officers at Maghaberry Prison.

Police said the device partially exploded when the prison officer, a father of three, drove over a speed ramp in Hillsborough Drive.

The prison officer is in a stable condition in hospital.

The group told the BBC that last week’s attack was the result of an ongoing dispute between dissidents and the prison authorities about their treatment in the prison.

The group also claimed the device contained a quantity of Semtex and a commercial detonator.