Londonderry alert ends as police confirm device was under-car bomb

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Residents have been out of their homes since yesterday morningImage source, PAcemaker
Image caption,
Residents have been out of their homes since yesterday morning

A Londonderry security alert has ended after the PSNI confirmed that a device found outside a police officer's house in Londonderry was an under-car bomb.

It said the device, discovered at the property in Ardanlee on Wednesday, was "designed to kill or injure".

A number of residents, who had to leave their homes following the discovery, have now been allowed to return.

The bomb exploded as Army technical officers tried to defuse it. No one was injured in the blast.

The PSNI have blamed dissident republicans for the incident, which they are treating as attempted murder.

Image source, Press Eye/Lorcan Doherty
Image caption,
The device was found under a car at Ardanlee

Condemning the attack, Det Ch Insp Michael Harvey said the device would have had "devastating consequences" if it had exploded with the officer or members of his family in the car.

"The violent dissident republicans who carried out this attack intended to kill him," he said.

"They didn't care that his children or partner could also have been in the vehicle with him. He is not just a police officer in a uniform - he is also a father, a brother and a devoted family man who puts on his uniform every day to serve the local community that he is a part of.

Image caption,
Around a dozen families were kept out of their homes

"It was extremely lucky that no-one was hurt and reinforces the fact that this small group of people have no regard for the safety of the local community or indeed the wishes of the vast majority of local people who want to live in a safe and peaceful society."

The Ardanlee bomb is the second attack on a serving police officer in as many months.