PFNI condemns attempt on lives of officers in west Belfast
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) says a grenade attack on a police patrol in west Belfast in the early hours of Wednesday (December 4) shows the “murderous intent of dissident republicans with nothing but misery to offer”.
PFNI chair Mark Lindsay said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers patrolling in their vehicle in Milltown Row were “fortunate to escape unscathed” after their vehicle was struck by a suspected grenade.
“Instead of reporting a failed terrorist attack this morning, we could easily have been commenting on fatalities or serious injuries. I am relieved that our officers weren’t hurt in this cowardly and callous attempt to kill them,” he added.
“As a community, we have to rid ourselves of this terrorist menace. It is holding back all of us who want to build a better future for our children.
“These dissident republicans are heartless and ruthless. We have a threat level that is officially rated ‘severe’ and there’s little prospect of that changing in the foreseeable future.
“There is a full investigation underway and I would ask the community for its help to track down the people responsible for this murderous attack.”
PSNI Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts said: “This was a undoubtedly an attempt to kill or injure police officers who were out on duty in the early hours of the morning working to keep the public safe. This despicable act must be condemned by all.”
He said officers were in the Falls Road area conducting routine patrols when, shortly after 2am, a police Land Rover was struck by an object as it was driving along Milltown Row.
“A loud bang was then heard and the Land Rover made its way to a place of safety. Thankfully none of the officers inside the vehicle were injured and no damage was noted to the vehicle,” added Chief Supt Roberts.
“A police operation was immediately implemented to ensure the safety of everyone in the area and that operation is ongoing at present. The remnants of a suspected grenade have been recovered and taken away for forensic testing. Further searches are being conducted this morning to ensure there are no other devices present, which could endanger members of the public.”
He confirmed that a “full and thorough investigation” was underway.