‘Attack was clearly designed to kill police officers’

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A pipe bomb attack on a police patrol near Bawnmore on Wednesday night (October 23) was a deliberate attempt to kill officers, PSNI Area Commander Stephen Reid has said.

The security alert in the Mill Road area began shortly after 10pm following reports that a device had been thrown at a passing police patrol. Following a search of the area two suspicious objects were discovered at approximately 12.30am on Thursday.

The Mill Road was closed to traffic and a number of homes in the area were evacuated while Army Technical Officers were tasked to examine the objects. One was declared a hoax and the second was found to be a viable pipe bomb type device.

“This device was clearly designed to kill police officers and we are very fortunate no-one was killed or injured. Had it exploded it could have killed or maimed anyone close by, police officers or local people alike. Those responsible showed total disregard for the local community and put the lives of local people in the area at risk,” Chief Inspector Reid said.

Mill Road was reopened to traffic and residents were allowed to return to their homes shortly before 5am.

“I would like to thank to local residents for their patience and support throughout this operation and I want to reassure them that we will not be deterred by this attack,” the Area Commander added.

Detectives investigating the incident have appealed for anyone with information to contact them at Newtownabbey Station on 0845 600 8000, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.