N.Ireland police 'targeted by booby-trap bomb'

19th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Police officers were lured to a booby-trap bomb by a bogus emergency call-out in Northern Ireland, the latest in a series of security alerts in the British province, police said Tuesday.

A man called police just before midnight on Monday saying he had heard a woman in distress in a wooded area of Belfast, but officers sent to search the area discovered a bomb and wire attached to a gate.

The bomb did not explode and no one was injured.

Superintendent Chris Noble, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said that army bomb experts "confirmed it was viable, and indeed it was capable of serious injury and indeed death," he said.

The scare came after Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr was killed in car bomb attack on April 2 and after the discovery of a massive car bomb left in an underpass beneath the main road linking Belfast and Dublin on April 7.

Authorities fear dissident republicans opposed to the peace process are increasing attacks ahead of elections in the province and a visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to the neighbouring Republic of Ireland, both next month.

A 1998 peace accord largely brought to an end three decades of violence, known as The Troubles, in Northern Ireland.

The violence pitted Catholic nationalists seeking to join the Republic of Ireland against Protestant unionists who wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

© 2011 AFP

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