Murder attempt on police officer claimed by ‘New IRA’

Police at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast as experts examined a suspect device under a car in the car park. Photo: David Young/PA Wire
Police at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast as experts examined a suspect device under a car in the car park. Photo: David Young/PA Wire
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The New IRA has claimed responsibility for placing a bomb discovered under the car of a serving police officer in east Belfast last weekend.

Police have described the device, found at Shandon Park Golf Club, as “viable” and “sophisticated” and said that violent dissident republicans were behind the attempted murder.

The Irish News said the newspaper had received a call from someone claiming responsibility on behalf of the New IRA who used a recognised codeword.

The same grouping was responsible for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April this year.

According to the Irish News report, the under car booby trap attached to the vehicle contained “high-powered plastic explosives”.

A senior detective said police are “aware of the claim received by a media outlet” and that it “will form part of our investigation”.

Police have examined CCTV footage of the area which is close to the PSNI’s Brooklyn headquarters on the Knock Road.

Det Supt Sean Wright said the investigation is now centred on two cars, which were later discovered burnt out the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, and has asked for anyone with information to come forward. One was a Dublin-registered green Skoda Octavia (01 D 78089) and the - a silver Saab, registration number NFZ 3216.

Police are particularly interested to speak to anyone who saw the cars in the Ballyhackamore or Upper Newtownards Road areas between midnight and 2am on Saturday, June 1.

“The area will have been busy and I’d appeal to taxi drivers to consider if they have any dash-cam footage, to contact Terrorism Investigation Unit detectives on 101,” D/supt Wright said.