Third arrest in NI bomb case

A third man has been arrested by detectives investigating the attempted murder of a police officer in Northern Ireland. It follows the arrests of two men on Monday after the constable discovered a bomb under his car at his home in Belfast.

Latest ITV News reports

Politicians condemn 'cowardly and futile' bomb

Those who placed this potential bomb have nothing to offer the community except heartache and sorrow.

The thugs who carry out this type of an action are rejected by the vast majority of the community as being wicked and evil ... who care nothing for innocent life.

I pay tribute to the PSNI officers and the bomb squad officers who risked their lives to make the area safe not only for the intended victim but all who live in close proximity.

– Robin Newton, Democratic Unionist Assembly member for East Belfast

My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the officer and family directly affected by this cowardly and futile act and the people working to restore safety to all residents in the area.Those behind this incident have absolutely nothing to offer the local community and are only intent on taking Northern Ireland back to a time of deep division through violent attacks.

Anyone, from whatever background, considering an attack on the PSNI should remember that officers have the full support of the vast majority of people across Northern Ireland. Any attack will only serve to risk misery to families and resolve the will of this community to reject violence in favour of peace.

– Chris Lyttle , East Belfast Alliance MLA

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Belfast bomb planted by 'cowardly thugs'

Terry Spence, chairman of officers' representative body the Police Federation, said the device was planted by "cowardly thugs":

This was an attempt to murder an off-duty police officer.

But this attack is no great surprise. Scores of police officers have been forced from their homes in the last 12 months because of terrorist incidents. This is just the latest of many.

It reinforces the need for officers to be extra vigilant.

PSNI calls for support from the community after bomb

It is understood the officer discovered the bomb himself.

Newtownards Road is one of the busiest arterial routes into Belfast. The officer's home is close to PSNI headquarters at Knock and the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.

Attacks on police officers are attacks on the entire community and cannot be allowed to continue.We know there are people within our communities who know who did this, we know there are people out there who know exactly what is being planned.My plea to them is not to allow this small minority to drag us back to the past.Our belief is that this attempted murder was carried by those opposed to peace from within dissident republicanism.

They don't care who they attack, they don't care who they kill. They are simply anti-peace and determined to carry on bringing pain and devastation to families and communities by maiming and killing.

The community can be assured that the Police Service of Northern Ireland will do everything possible within the law to bring those responsible to justice.

However it is very important that we get information about this incident quickly. We need support from members of the public in bringing those responsible to justice.

– Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton, Police Service of Northern Ireland

Device 'was clearly intended to kill'

It is very fortunate that this device was detected before it exploded and that no-one was killed or seriously injured.

Initial investigations would indicate that this was a viable device placed below an officer's car sometime in the last 48 hours. It was clearly intended to kill the police officer. His family and neighbours in the vicinity were also put at risk of serious harm.

Obviously there are people out there who are still intent on causing murder and mayhem.

– Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton, Police Service of Northern Ireland

'Stark contrast between bravery of PSNI and those who plant bombs'

Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has taken to Twitter to condemn those who planted a bomb under the car of a police officer in Belfast:

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Utterly reprehensible attempt to murder a police officer today. An attack on the police is an attack on the entire community they serve.

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My thoughts with the officer, his family & colleagues. Stark contrast between bravery of PSNI & actions of those who seek to destroy peace.

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DUP Councillor deplores 'horrendous attack on committed officer'

East Belfast DUP Councillor Gavin Robinson has tweeted his response to the 'horrendous assault' which saw a device found under a police officer's car in the city:

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Spent the afternoon with families displaced following today's security alert. Horrendous assault on a committed officer and his family

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