Northern Ireland

Belfast under-car pipe bombs: PSNI investigating possible link

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Media captionA car was badly damaged in one of the attacks when a pipe bomb exploded underneath the vehicle, as Natalie Lindo reports

Police have said they are investigating a possible link between after pipe bombs were found under cars in Belfast, but are keeping an "open mind".

A pipe bomb exploded under a car in St James Road in west Belfast.

Another was discovered on a pavement in North Queen Street, north Belfast, and a third under a car in Friendly Street in south Belfast's Markets area.

The details emerged as officers were asked about a possible drugs link at the latest Policing Board meeting.

'Similar'

A senior officer replied that the three investigations were at a very early stage and police were keeping an open mind about motive.

He said the police were not prepared to comment on claims of a possible drugs "turf war".

But he said they were investigating the possibility of a link because the objects recovered from the three scenes looked similar.

He said the St James Road attack was thought to be a non-suspicious car fire at first, but a badly burnt device was discovered when the car was moved.

A number of nearby houses were evacuated during all three alerts while bomb disposal officers examined the objects.

Police said a "viable pipe bomb-type device" was recovered during the North Queen Street alert, which ended shortly before 13:25 GMT.

The St James Road alert ended about an hour later while the operation at Friendly Street continued until shortly after 17:00 GMT.

All roads have been reopened and residents have been allowed back to the homes.

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