Car bomb partially explodes near Belfast police station

Car bomb partially explodes near Belfast police station

A bomb left in Belfast city centre last night partially exploded, city police have confirmed.

The viable device, inside a car abandoned near Musgrave police station and the city’s courts, detonated just after midnight.

Army bomb disposal experts were at the scene and were working on the vehicle when the blast happened.

There were no reports of any injuries.

It is understood the car’s rear windscreen and a door were blown out but the vehicle was not destroyed. No buildings were damaged by the explosion.

Hundreds of people were caught up in the security alert, which was the third to hit Belfast yesterday.

The vehicle was believed to have been abandoned at about 9.30pm at the street level entrance to an underground car park.

People in the nearby Victoria Square shopping centre, cinema and apartment block were told to leave the area and were offered shelter in the Ulster Hall. Some shoppers, who could not access their cars, also had to spend the night at the hall.

Residents were allowed to return home just after 6am but six streets in the city centre remained sealed off.

A spokeswoman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the security closures were expected to remain in place throughout the morning and would impact on morning rush-hour traffic.

Police said the security alert, which caused huge traffic disruption in Belfast, has ended.

A spokesman said all roads had re-opened and everyone was allowed back into their homes, shops and offices.

Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has condemned the attack.

She said: “It is not on the scale of the bad old days but it is a worrying trend – the hijacking of cars and buses, which seems to be the modus operandi for these people.

“I would urge people to be vigilant and to keep their doors locked.”

Ms Foster said such attacks did nothing to help the economy and appealed for the community to reject those responsible.

She added: “This is not the sort of thing we want from our capital city, which had a difficult time last Christmas.”


More in this Section

We just want financial and employment security say Ireland's 20-year-olds We just want financial and employment security say Ireland's 20-year-olds

Headstones erected at unmarked graves of 1920 Bloody Sunday victimsHeadstones erected at unmarked graves of 1920 Bloody Sunday victims

Limerick University Hospital's second MRI scanner will have 'very significant impact' on waiting timesLimerick University Hospital's second MRI scanner will have 'very significant impact' on waiting times

Six women and five men to face charges relating to over 200 counts of sexual abuse and child neglectSix women and five men to face charges relating to over 200 counts of sexual abuse and child neglect


Lifestyle

Move over quinoa.Everything you need to know about fonio, the ancient grain we’ll all be eating in 2020

The former heptathlete and all-round super woman chats to Lauren Taylor about how to stay fit in pregnancy and body confidence after a baby.Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill: ‘There’s still a lot of stigma attached to exercising pregnant’

Behaving aggressively is a stage many toddlers go through. The author of The Wonder Weeks explains how parents should deal with kids who kick & bite.Ask an expert: How can I stop my toddler kicking and biting?

It came as quite a surprise to learn that I had been writing my Weekend column in the Irish Examiner for 21 years — how the years have flown by and how the food scene has changed in Ireland over those two decades.A letter from Darina Allen: How the years have flown and the food has changed

More From The Irish Examiner