Army Technical Officers have confirmed that a potentially lethal viable device has been found under a serving police officer’s car at Eglinton.
Police were this morning at the scene of the security alert in Glenrandel, as politicians united in their condemnation.
Local District Commander Superintendent Mark McEwan said that police were alerted to suspicious activity outside the officer’s house at around 2.45am this morning.
Upon attending the scene, a device was located under a car parked outside the house.
Supt. McEwan said: “ATO were tasked to the scene during the early hours and have now declared this to be a viable device.
“We can confirm that this was an Under Vehicle Improvised Explosive Device capable of causing death or serious injury under the car of a serving police officer.”
Superintendent McEwan condemned those responsible and said: “This device had the potential to harm not only the officer but anyone in that residential area and those involved have shown a blatant disregard for human life.
“This is yet another example of the cowardly elements in our society who show no regard for the safety of local residents and the police officers who serve their community.
“We are obviously very thankful that this attack was thwarted and that no one was injured here this morning but this is a stark reminder that the threat against our Police Service and its employees remains at severe.
“Clearly there are people out there in today’s society who are still intent on causing murder and mayhem. These criminal elements are not welcome in our society and I am appealing to the local community for their assistance in driving this small minority from our streets and bringing them before the courts.
“Glenrandel remains closed to traffic and residents and approximately 15 houses had to be evacuated during the early hours.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local residents for their patience and co-operation and assure them that we are taking every sensible step to keep them safe and minimise any further impact on them.
“The investigation is at an early stage and we would appeal for anyone who may have been in this area around 2.45am this morning or in recent days who may have witnessed anything untoward or noticed any persons acting in a suspicious manner.
“We are also appealing for anyone who may have witnessed any vehicles seen leaving the area at speed shortly after 2.45am to contact us. Anyone with information should contact detectives at Strand Road on 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Sinn Féin Derry & Strabane Councillor Paul Fleming described the attack as “wrong and futile”.
He said: “This attack has to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
“We are looking to the future and we will not be held back by those who want to drag us back to the past.
“It’s time these people caught up with the mood and wishes of the Irish people and abandon their activities.”
UUP MLA Ross Hussey said on social media via Twitter: “The cowardly attack on a police officer in Eglinton and indeed the people of Eglinton must be condemned nothing justifies a bomb nothing!”
Foyle SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey wrote on Twitter: “Bomb under police officers car in Eglinton overnight, thankfully it was found and made safe, worrying & upsetting for residents#needtostop”
DUP MLA Gary Middleton tweeted the photo above from the scene and said: “At the scene of security alert in Eglinton. I totally condemn those behind this terrorist act.”