Northern Ireland news

Senior PSNI officer drove booby trapped car

One of the getaway cars used by the bombers, discovered burnt out in Ardoyne.

A senior police officer is believed to have driven his car to a nearby golf course with a booby trap bomb placed underneath.

The 55-year-old officer parked his Cherokee car at the Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast at around 7.30am on Saturday.

The device was thought to have been spotted by a member of the public sometime before 1pm with the course and golf club evacuated while police examined the bomb declaring it viable.

While detectives have removed CCTV from the course it is thought that the bomb was placed under the car outside the officer's home and that he made the journey to the course unaware of the danger he was in.

The bomb is believed to have been placed under his car some time between 10pm on Friday night and 1.30am on Saturday.

A silver Saab with the registration NFZ 3216 found burning in north Belfast.

Two getaway cars used by the dissident republicans responsible, thought to be members of the New IRA, were set alight in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

Fire and Rescue Service received call at 1.48am on Saturday morning to say that two cars were on fire at the rear of homes at Etna Drive.

A cross-border investigation was launched after it was established that one of the cars was sourced in Dublin, a green Skoda Octavia registration - 01 D 78089 - the other, a silver Saab with the registration NFZ 3216 was also found burning in north Belfast.

Police asked for anyone who was in the area of the Green Road, Knock Hill Park, Upper Newtownards Road or Shandon Park between 10pm on Friday and and 7am on Saturday to contact them.

Marl Lindsay of the Northern Ireland Police Federation said as the organisation prepares to host its annual conference this week, the threat officers face will be fresh in members minds.

.Police and army bomb disposal at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast.

"That we are still in this place over 21-years on from the peace process is horrendous for our members. This security threat has existed since 2009, and while people are reminded to be careful police officers do still have normal lives to live and for the large part they do just that.

"However. the threat is still there and this is a timely reminder of that," Mr LIndsay added.

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