A GUN was discovered close to where a bomb was planted on a towpath in Newtownabbey on Saturday, it has emerged.
In a fresh appeal for information on Tuesday, the detective leading the investigation said they were also working on the possibility that a call made from a public phone box outside shops at the junction of Antrim Road and Fortwilliam Road, at around 7.40pm is linked to the explosion.
Detective Chief Inspector Karen Baxter, said: “As part of our follow-up inquiries, we now believe that the discovery of a suspected firearm on the towpath could be linked to the attack and I am very keen to speak to anyone who may have been in the area of the towpath before midday on Saturday.”
The detective added: “I would also urge anyone who was at the shops at the junction of Antrim Road and Fortwilliam Road on Saturday evening, in and around 7:40pm, to contact us.
“There is a takeaway restaurant, an off-licence, and a bank in this area so it would have been busy at this time.
“I would appeal to anyone who was in these areas at the times specified, to contact us immediately on 02890 700303.
“Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Two policemen and one policewoman were only metres from the device when it exploded on the Duncrue towpath in north Belfast on Saturday night.