Letter bomb sent to PSNI chief
A viable letter bomb addressed to Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable has been defused.
Police said the device was discovered at a Royal Mail sorting office on the outskirts of north Belfast.
British Army bomb disposal experts were called to Mallusk, Co Antrim, during the early hours of this morning and worked through the night to make the device safe.
The package had been addressed to Matt Baggott at the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) headquarters in Knock, on the edge of east Belfast.
A PSNI spokesman said: “Police would continue to ask members of the public to remain vigilant and anyone who notices anything suspicious should contact the police immediately.”
Royal Mail said its centre had been evacuated during the alert and that deliveries would be disrupted this morning.
Spokeswoman Barbara Roulston said: “The Northern Ireland Mail Centre at Mallusk was evacuated overnight due to a suspect package. There will be a knock-on effect on deliveries this morning and we apologise to customers for the inconvenience this may cause.”
Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said those behind the letter bomb had no support.
She said: “Those responsible for this device have almost no support and have demonstrated a blatant disregard for the safety of those who could have been injured by this callous and reckless attack.
“The chief constable undertakes a challenging role in delivering community policing in a difficult threat environment.
“He and his officers have my full support and I am certain that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland will condemn this disgraceful bomb attempt and others which have taken place over recent days.”
This is the third attempted bomb attack in the North in as many days.
Police officers escaped injury when pipe bombs were thrown at patrols in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim and Derry while Army technical experts made safe another viable pipe bomb in north Belfast overnight.
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