Northern Ireland

Golf club car bomb: New IRA says it was behind attack

A Belfast golf club has been evacuated after a suspicious device was found under a car
Image caption The bomb was discovered at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast

The New IRA has said it left a bomb under a police officer's car at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast last weekend.

The Irish News said it had issued a statement to the newspaper using a recognised codeword.

Police had said they believed "violent dissident republicans" were behind the attack.

The New IRA, a dissident republican group, was responsible for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April.

The Irish News said it is understood the bomb in east Belfast "contained high-powered plastic explosives".

Det Ch Insp Stuart Griffin of the PSNI said police "are aware of the claim received by a media outlet" and it "will form part of our investigation".

On Saturday night, police examined CCTV footage and searched the car park of the club, which is located close to the PSNI headquarters on the Knock Road.

Image caption Police and Army bomb disposal experts attended the scene

Det Supt Sean Wright said the investigation centred on two cars, which were found burnt out in Etna Drive in north Belfast.

One was a green Skoda Octavia with a Dublin registration - 01 D 78089 - the other, a silver Saab with the registration NFZ 3216.

A cross-border investigation has been launched into the incident.

Police also appealed for anyone in the Ballyhackamore or Upper Newtownards Road area between midnight and 02:00 BST on Saturday 1 June to come forward.

Image caption The police investigation centres on two cars, which were found burnt out in Etna Drive in north Belfast

The New IRA, which has been linked with three other murders, is believed to have been formed between 2011 and 2012.

It followed the merger of a number of smaller groups, including the Real IRA, which itself was born out of a split in the mainstream Provisional IRA (PIRA) in October 1997 over Sinn Féin's embrace of the peace process.

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