Police in Northern Ireland confirmed on Tuesday that a “viable device” had been found near the home of a part-time police officer the day before.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said on Monday morning that a “suspicious object” had been found in Dungiven, a town in County Londonderry.
On Tuesday, Mark McEwan, head of PSNI’s Crime Operations Department, said on Twitter: “I can confirm that the device is viable and investigations are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”
“We are treating this as an attack on a member of staff who also serves her community as a part-time police officer,” he said.
I strongly condemn this outrageous attack on our Officer and her family.
— Simon Byrne (@ChiefConPSNI) April 20, 2021
Simon Byrne, chief constable of PSNI, said on Twitter: “I strongly condemn this outrageous attack on our Officer and her family. Every day @PoliceServiceNI officers and staff bravely step up to serve the community and this attempt to harm is a stark reminder of the challenges still facing us all.”
Northern Ireland’s political leaders have condemned the attempted attack.
“This is a shameful and vile attack on a police officer and I utterly condemn those responsible,” said First Minister Arlene Foster.
“All right-thinking people will reject those who try to drag us back into violence through such cowardly deeds. People across Northern Ireland will unite in agreement that this barbarity has no place in today’s society and that this dark and sinister agenda is a thing of the past, not our future.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “This was a shocking and deplorable attempt on the life of a police officer that will rightly be reviled across the community. My thoughts are very much with the police officer concerned and her family.
“Those behind this reckless attack have absolutely nothing to offer society and have shown a callous disregard for the entire community. They seek only to drag our communities backwards; they have no place in our society and they should disband.”
The British province saw the worst violence in years earlier this month, with hundreds of youths attacking police with stones and petrol bombs in the provincial capital Belfast. PSNI said 88 officers were injured during the riots.
Reuters contributed to this report.