Booby-trap attempt to kill soldier condemned

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A BOOBY-TRAP bomb attack that targeted a soldier in Belfast has been condemned.

The device was discovered under the driver’s seat of a car, with dissident republicans later claiming responsibility for the murder attempt.

Army bomb experts were yesterday examining the device after removing it following an alert in Ligoniel in the north of the city.

The Democratic Unionist MP for the area, Nigel Dodds, said the soldier’s vigilance helped avoid loss of life.

“It is an absolutely appalling incident,” he added.

“This was a viable device. It was designed and targeted to kill a particular target, it has emerged now, a serving soldier.”

Families from 30 houses were evacuated while experts dealt with the bomb until late on Thursday night.

Mr Dodds said the incident was a reckless attack, aimed at killing the soldier, but also disregarding any risk to the public in a residential area.

The Oglaigh na hEireann group said it was responsible for the bomb, which was connected to the car’s seat belt.

Security forces have made no comment on the make-up of the booby-trap, beyond saying it was a viable device.

The security alert was triggered in the Blackdam Court area on Thursday morning after reports of a suspicious object in the vehicle.

Residents were evacuated from their homes for most of the day as Army bomb disposal experts examined the car.

The officers carried out a controlled explosion on the object, and it was taken away for further examination.

Mr Dodds told the BBC that dissident groups represented no one.

He said the Westminster government had already allocated extra funds to the Police Service of Northern Ireland to tackle dissidents, but further support should be made available if it was needed.

He said his constituency had suffered heavily during the Troubles and saw such bombings as a relic of the past.